For several years, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg has been home to 70 cats looking for works of art. There are also three people at the museum who take care of these cats. However, these cats are more than just guardians of art. Today we tell the story of artists who turn famous works of art into works of art with cats.
The artist who transforms famous works of art into works of art with cats
The artist’s work ( Eldar Zakirov ) is a collection of works by Russian painters from the last two centuries, but with a twist. He reworks the works of art to include cats.
Kittens are depicted in costumes from a certain era. The original paintings are studied extremely deeply. Even the smallest details are in harmony with the era from which the painting comes. Among the paintings you can find some of history’s most famous tsars.
Zakirov has shown great respect for both the face and the features of the cats. That way, they look as similar as possible in these works of art with cats (or should we call it “cat work”?). Among the paintings, Zakirov has reworked ” Hermitage Court Waiter ” and ” Carriage Driver of the Hermitage “.
The cats he paints have lived in the museum since the famous Tsar Peter I, the Great, brought a cat to the palace from the Netherlands. His daughter Isabel was captivated by the cat’s beauty and asked for the best and biggest cats in Kazan. These cats were responsible for keeping the building and the rooms free of mice and other rodents.
As time went on, 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 responsible for taking care of them, feeding them and playing with them. They are even looking for families who can adopt them.
Thanks to Zakirov’s work, the Hermitage cats are known throughout Russia. Not just because they live in the museum, but because they will be remembered for centuries thanks to the paintings.
Other artists who have changed artwork
Zakirov is not the only artist who has turned famous art into works of art with cats. Svetlana Petrova has a cat named Zarathustra. The artist decided to show his love for his cat by “infiltrating” him in famous works of art, such as the Mona Lisa.
When the artist was asked what motivated her to do something similar, she said that after her mother’s death she adopted her cat. Zarathustra reminds her of her mother. Having to take care of the cat helped her deal 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 told her that she would try something similar with her own cat. After all, Zarathustra is fat, funny and also very kind.
And that’s where the idea came from. First, she began imitating some Dutch still life paintings while conducting photo sessions of plates of food. She then used an image management program to add Zarathustra to the images.
Later she thought she should do the same with other famous works of art. When her relatives, friends and other art gallery owners saw these works of art with cats, Svetlana realized that she had created something big. 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. But it will probably inspire many more artists to do the same. This will spread their love of art and, of course, their love of animals.