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The Cat: Muse, Symbol, Deity

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"If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air."—Doris Lessing, English writer
Bastet, 664-30 B.C. Egypt, Late Period-Ptolemaic Period. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of Florence Blumenthal, 1934 (34.6.1).

Bastet Period: Late Period–Ptolemaic Period Date: B. Geography: From Egypt Medium: Bronze, precious metal and black bronze inlays, silver inlay

Clockmaker: Karl Schmidt (German, ca/ 1590-1635/36). Automaton clock in the form of a lion, ca. 1620-35. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1549) | This work is featured in the “The Luxury of Time: European Clocks and Watches” exhibition, on view through March 27, 2016. #LuxuryofTime

Automaton clock in the form of a lion Maker: Clockmaker: Karl Schmidt (German, ca. Culture: German, Augsburg Medium: Case: gilded brass and gilded silver on a base of ebony, and ebony veneered on fruitwood;

Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (French 1859–1923). Winter: Cat on a Cushion. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1950 (50.616.9).

Winter: Cat on a Cushion Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (French (born Switzerland), Lausanne Paris) Date: 1909 Medium: Color lithograph Dimensions: sheet: 20 x 24 in. x 61 cm)

Soga Shōhaku (Japan, 1730–1781). 天台山石橋図 Lions at the Stone Bridge of Mount Tiantai, 1779. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015 (2015.300.216)  | This work is featured in “Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection” on view through July 31, 2016  #ArtsofJapan  #AsianArt100

Soga Shōhaku (Japan, 天台山石橋図 Lions at the Stone Bridge of Mount…

Edward Penfield (American 1866-1925). R.H. Russell & Son Calendar, 1897, 1896. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Leonard A. Lauder Collection of American Posters, Gift of Leonard A. Lauder, 1984 (1984.1202.123(1)).

Edward Penfield (American R. Russell & Son Calendar, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Leonard A. Lauder Collection of American Posters, Gift of Leonard A.

Peggy Bacon (American, 1895–1987). Contentment, 1936. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Lesley and Emma Sheafer Collection, Bequest of Emma A. Sheafer, 1973 (1974.356.7) #cats

Peggy Bacon (American, 1895–1987). Contentment, 1936. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Lesley and Emma Sheafer Collection, Bequest of Emma A. Sheafer, 1973 (1974.356.7) #cats

Cosmetic Vessel in the Shape of a Cat, ca. 1990-1900 B.C.. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, early. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1990 (1990.59.1)

Cosmetic Vessel in the Shape of a Cat. The cat first appears in painting and relief at the end of the Old Kingdom, and this cosmetic jar is the earliest-known three-dimensional representation of the animal in Egyptian art. Egypt, ca.

Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883). Cat and Flowers, 1869. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928 (28.93.1) #cats

Édouard Manet (French, Paris Paris) - Cat and Flowers. Illustration to "The Cats" by Champfleury, 1869 - etching and aquatint in brown ink on tan wove paper - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Kiki Smith (American, 1954). Litter, 1999. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Purchase, Reba and Dave Williams Gift, 2000 (2000.136).

Kiki Smith (American, Litter, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New…

麝香猫図 Uto Gyoshi (Japan, active second half of 16th century). Musk Cat, Muromachi period. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015 (2015.300.66)  | This work is featured in “Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection” on view through July 31, 2016  #ArtsofJapan  #AsianArt100

Musk Cat Artist: Uto Gyoshi (Japanese, active second half of century) Period: Muromachi period Date: second half of the century Culture: Japan

Currier & Ives (American, active 1857–1907). My Little White Kitties – Into Mischief, 1871.The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Adele S. Colgate, 1962 (63.550.479)

My Little White Kitties – Into Mischief Currier & Ives, 1871 Hand-colored lithograph Metropolitan Museum of Art

Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883). Cat and Flowers, 1869. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928 (28.93.1) #cats

Édouard Manet (French, Paris Paris) - Cat and Flowers. Illustration to "The Cats" by Champfleury, 1869 - etching and aquatint in brown ink on tan wove paper - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Norman de Garis Davies (1865–1941). Kitten on Ipuy's Lap, Tomb of Ipuy from New Kingdom, Ramesside, reign of Ramesses II, ca. 1295–1213 B.C.. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Rogers Fund, 1930 (30.4.184) #cats

Kitten on Ipuy's Lap, Tomb of Ipuy (Egypt, ca.) - Facsimile painted at Deir el Medina by Norman de Garis Davies for the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1912 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Uto Gyoshi (Japanese, active second half of 16th century). Musk Cat, second half of the 16th century. Muromachi period (1392–1573). Japan. The Metropolitan Museum of  Art, New York. Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015 (2015.300.66)  |  This work is exhibited in the “Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection” exhibition, on view through January 22, 2017.#AsianArt100

Musk Cat Artist: Uto Gyoshi (Japanese, active second half of century) Period: Muromachi period Date: second half of the century Culture: Japan