National Gallery of Art Custom Prints

American 19th Century

Cat and Kittens, c. 1872/1883

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Mark Rothko: Paintings on Paper
Rothko is renowned for his towering abstract paintings on canvas, but few people know that he also created nearly 1,000 paintings on paper over the course of his career.
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About the Artwork

A short-haired calico cat and two kittens lie down or play with a ball of yarn in this horizontal painting. To our left, the largest cat has markings in honey brown and black over its face and along its spine, and the rest of its fur is white. Most of its body disappears behind a lace-trimmed cloth hanging along the left edge of the painting but it lies down so its chest faces us and it looks at us with piercing yellow eyes. One kitten lies in front of the larger cat so all four legs and its tail face us. It has caramel-brown, gray, and black stripes with white patches on its nose, chest, and paws. It looks off to our right with lime-green eyes. To our right, the other kitten rests up on its hind paws so its front paws are free to tangle the end of the carnation-pink yarn, which has rolled off a tidily wound ball to our left, in front of the other kitten. This kitten faces our left in profile and has white fur with flint-gray and black splotches along its spine, tail, and around its ears and eyes. The textured rug beneath the cats is straw yellow. A chestnut-brown baseboard spans the painting behind the cats, and the wall above is slate blue with stylized floral patterns in translucent white. The artist’s precise brushstrokes are especially noticeable in the cats’ fur and their shining whiskers.

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National Gallery of Art Custom Prints is your exclusive source for custom reproductions authorized and available for purchase directly from the National Gallery of Art. All items that are offered are produced using gallery-quality materials and the color is managed in a manner that produces a reproduction as true to the original as modern technology will allow.
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