Animals have been inspiring artists since the first cave paintings of deer and bison, and pet cats, dogs, birds, and others have continued to aid creativity with their beauty, humor, companionship, and cuteness.
The French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was a photojournalist for Life and he is widely considered to be the master of street photography and the father of modern photojournalism.
Henri loved cats: “I’m an anarchist, yes. Because I’m alive. Life is a provocation…. I’m against people in power and what that imposes upon them. Anglo-Saxons have to learn what anarchism is. For them, it’s violence. A cat knows what anarchy is. Ask a cat. A cat understands. They’re against discipline and authority. A dog is trained to obey. Cats can’t be. Cats bring on chaos.”
Frida Kahlo was an incredibly influential Mexican painter, best known for her self-portraits.
Frida kept many pets — multiple pet monkeys, xoloitzcuintli (“Mexican Hairless”) dogs, parrots, parakeets, macaws, chickens, a pet eagle named Gertrudis Caca Blanca (“Gertrude White Shit”), and a fawn called Granizo. Kahlo often painted herself surrounded by her animal companions, who were a calming constant.
Pablo Picasso, perhaps the most influential artist of the 20th century, was a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer.
Picasso acquired Lump the dachshund in 1957 and when he and Pablo met, it was seemingly true love. Lump was allowed anywhere on Picasso’s property, including being the only creature allowed in Picasso’s studio. Lump appeared in 54 of Picasso’s works. Lump and Picasso were together for sixteen years, and died within months of each other.
René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist. He was famous for his quirky, witty paintings that were meant to toy with the viewers perception of reality and truth.
Magritte treasured this dog, Lou-Lou. and often brought him around to art openings.
Musician Paul Simon wrote a song based on them in 1983 titled “René and Georgette (his wife) Magritte With Their Dog After The War.”
Andy Warhola was a hugely influential American Pop artist, film-maker, record producer, and a public figure famous for both his own talents and his ability to find extraordinary individuals to pepper his social circle and his studio/club The Factory.
Jed Johnson, Andy’s boyfriend, convinced him that they should get a dog in 1973, and the love affair between Andy and Archie began. A few years later, the dog was joined by Amos. Andy took Archie everywhere — to dinner, art openings, and to his studio. He even made art in tribute to his two little dogs…
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was the archetypal “Renaissance Man,” a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, writer, botanist, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, and cartographer. He is considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time, as well as one of the most intelligent and diverse humans to ever live. Some have described his intelligence, creativity, and thoughtfulness as almost superhuman.
“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” – Leonardo da Vinci.
da Vinci was also a proto-animal-rights philosopher, who became a vegetarian while musing in his notebooks that humanity is not “king of the animals” but merely “king of the beasts” — in other words, that we are simply more powerful than other creatures, not actually superior to them. He once wrote, “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”
Peace and Dogs, the lovedogbloggers