In conjunction with The OMG’s Colour for Us 2021, we will take a look at famous paintings of animals. These paintings were painted by well-known artists, and you might even recognize some of them due to their fame. For anyone looking for inspiration for your art project, we hope these paintings will inspire your creativity.
Cat and Bird – Paul Klee
With its warm and somewhat burnt-looking colours, this painting by Paul Klee was inspired by art made by children. Combined with his love for cats, the Cat and Bird painting was born. Although at first glance you might assume that there is a tension between the cat and the bird, the colour palette and softness of the picture might suggest it is less about rivalry. There are many different interpretations you can find like a sense of danger, secrecy and hidden motives.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York
Le Chat Blanc – Pierre Bonnard
Pierre Bonnard was inspired by Japanese woodblock prints like ukiyo-e depictions of cats. It doesn’t look like a cat with its long legs and boxy body, because it’s meant to portray a humorous picture of a cat. The painting portrays an exaggerated figure of a cat performing the “ooo, a big stretch!”
The cat is shown to be arching its back, most likely shaking to stretch its muscles causing its fur to puff up which is why the cat looks fluffy.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Dogs Playing Poker – Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
One of the most famous paintings of dogs in history, the painting of dogs playing poker was initially commissioned as advertisement for a cigar company. Between 1910 and 1984, other than dogs playing poker, American painter Cassius Marcellus Coolidge spent a huge chunk of his time drawing and painting anthropomorphic (human-like) dogs doing ballroom dancing, baseball and testifying in court. None was as famous as dogs playing poker which has appeared in countless advertisements, shows and movies.
Various Private Collections
Mogyeon "Mother Dog and Puppies" – Yi Am
Yi Am was among the most influential artists during the mid-Joseon dynasty around the early to mid-1500s. He was the first to move away from the traditional Chinese style of painting and created his own design. Mother Dog and Puppies particularly captures the warmth of being in a loving atmosphere. This can be clearly seen on the puppy who is smiling while taking a nap. The tree in the background is purely a backdrop and doesn’t carry any significance.
National Museum of Korea, Seoul
Sleeping Dog – Gerrit Dou
Taking inspiration from his Dutch master Rembrandt, Gerrit Dou painted this picture of a sleeping dog next to an urn, a bundle of twigs and a woven basket. With the materials he had in the year 1650, he painstakingly painted the animal with meticulous detail. John Smith (1781–1855) was a 19th-century British art dealer who made this comment about the painting, “It is impossible for painting to be carried to higher perfection than that displayed in this exquisite little picture.”
It’s no wonder then that centuries later, it is one of the most popular paintings at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Head of a Dog – Edvard Munch
If you’re not familiar with Munch, you might know his famous painting, The Scream. It stands toe to toe with other heavyweights in the world of art like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Monet’s Water Lilies. However, unlike The Scream, Head of a Dog looks like it was made by a kid, a talented kind though. The Scream is known to impart feelings of anxiety, while Head of a Dog makes you want to chuckle.
Munch Museum, Oslo
Head of a Dog - Edouard Manet
This head of a dog is an oil on canvas painting, painted by Edouard Manet in Paris in 1876. The dog in the painting resembles a whitish brown terrier called Bob which can be seen written above his right ear. Bob has a three-dimensional appearance, making him look like he is being projected out of the frame of the painting. Bob’s face shows so much personality, and he is portrayed to be totally enjoying the experience with his proud, tall posture and winking left eye.
Do you want your artwork to be among these famous paintings? If you said yes, then here is your chance. We cannot promise you that your artwork will become famous by submitting it to us, but in the process of designing our canvas, you might get the inspiration for that famous art.