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A Second Compendium of Cultured Cats

Susan Herbert, Janet Froud


This second litter of cultured cats delves further into the work of Susan Herbert, with another possé of our feline friends in much-loved works of art


Whiskered faces peer from beneath beribboned bonnets; furry tails hang over arms like parasols or stretch upwards to brush against a row of medals; soft, fat paws grapple with flowers, hats and pieces of fruit. There are damsels in distress, Old Testament prophets, even the odd tortured artist, post-ear slicing. From the Middle Ages to the Impressionists, this is the wonderfully charming world of Susan Herbert.

In this second helping of cats in art, felines take over yet more of the world’s best-loved masterpieces. They crowd into the pages of the 15th-century Très Riches Heures, zoom through the air as cherubic blindfolded Cupids in Renaissance masterworks and pose stiffly in royal portraits, before loosening things up in the 19th century as artists take paint and palette out into the countryside.

These aren’t just slavish reproductions of well-known works of art, however, with the characters replaced by cats. In Herbert’s hands, the cats are the characters, stepping into the paintings to assume the role of the Virgin Mary, the King of France or God himself, with more than one pair of pointy ears offering structural support to a crown or garland of flowers – often above that look of grumpy resignation so familiar to cat-parents everywhere.

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 21.0 x 19.0 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 140

Publication date: 26 August 2021

ISBN: 9780500024515

About the Author

Susan Herbert (1945–2014) was one of the most distinctive contemporary cat artists, beloved for her quirkily amusing re-imaginings of the great works of art. She studied at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, and was the author and illustrator of The Cats Gallery of Art, The Cats History of Western Art, Diary of a Victorian Cat, Medieval Cats, Impressionist Cats, Pre-Raphaelite Cats, Shakespeare Cats, Opera Cats, Movie Cats, Cats in Art: A Pop-Up Book and Cats Galore, all published by Thames & Hudson.