Artists Who Transform Works of Art into Artwork with Cats

April 19, 2019
Eldar Zakirov, a Russian artisis, has decided to use the faces of cats in famous works of art, creating innovative and pioneering artwork with cats. 

For several years, the Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg has been home to 70 cats who look after the works of art. There are also 3 people at the museum who devote their time to looking after those cats. However, these cats are more than just guardians of the art. Today, we’ll tell you the story of artists who transform works of art into artwork with cats.

The artist who transforms works into artwork with cats

The artist’s work (Eldar Zakirov) is a collection of works by Russian painters from two centuries ago, but with a twist. He re-imagines those pieces of art with cats.

The kittens are depicted in costumes from that era. The original paintings are studied extremely in depth. Even the smallest detail is in harmony with the era that the painting belongs to. Among the paintings you can find some of the most famous czars in history.

Zakirov has been very respectful of the face and the features of the cats. That way, they look as similar as possible in the artwork with cats (or should we call it “catwork”?) Among the paintings, Zakirov has re-imagined the Waiter of the Court of the Hermitage or the Carriage Driver of the Hermitage.

The cats he paints have lived in the museum since the famous Czar Peter I, the Great, brought a cat to the palace from the Netherlands. His daughter Isabel was captivated by the feline’s beauty and requested the best and greatest cats of Kazan. These cats were responsible for keeping the building and the rooms free of mice and other rodents. 

Over time, these felines stopped hunting mice and have now become one of the museum’s main tourist attractions. Everyone knows them and the museum staff is in charge of taking care of them, feeding them, and playing with them. They even look for families to adopt them. 

Thanks to Zakirov’s works, the Hermitage cats are famous throughout Russia. Not only because they live in the museum, but because they will be remembered for centuries in his paintings. 

Other artists who have altered works of art

This is a piece of art with felines.

Zakirov isn’t the only artist who has transformed works of art into artwork with cats. Svetlana Petrova has a cat named Zarathustra. The artist decided to show her love for her cat by ‘infiltrating’ him into famous works of art, like the Mona Lisa. 

When the artist was asked what moved her to do something like that, she said that after the death of her mother she adopted her cat. Zarathustra reminds her of her mother. Having to take care of her helped her cope with the loss of her mother in a meaningful way.

Svetlana is a professional artist and came across another project that included artwork with cats. After seeing this project, a friend of hers said she should try something similar with her own cat. After all, Zarathustra is fat, funny and kind.

And that’s where the idea came from. Firstly, she started imitating some Dutch still life paintings while carrying out photo sessions of plates of food. After that, she would photoshop Zarathustra into the pictures.

Svetlana’s works

Later, she thought of doing it with well-known works of art. When her relatives, friends and other art gallery owners saw the artwork with cats, Svetlana realized she had created something great. Although everyone’s immediate reaction is to laugh, Svetlana also wanted people to be able to recognize the original works of art.

This initiative began in Russia. However, it will probably inspire many more artists to do the same. This will spread their love for art and, of course, for animals.