If someone had to ask you, how much would you say that you love cats? Most cat lovers are very proud in their passion for the feline kind, and one woman who lived in the 1800’s was no different–a Mrs. Kate Birdsall Johnson, avid art collector and notorious cat lover. She loved cats so much, that back in 1891 she commissioned Austrian artist Carl Kahler to visit her home in Sonoma County Mansion to paint all of her cats. The artwork, titled ‘My Wife’s Lovers’ will be up for auction on November 3rd, and is said to be the highlight of Sotheby’s 19th Century European Art sale in New York.
The artist was specifically instructed to paint Johnson’s 42 cats in their element, roaming freely in her sprawling mansion–and rumored to have had they own level of the pricy home! There is no concrete evidence to tell just exactly how long it took for the artist to complete his work, but it is rumored that he dedicated roughly 3 years to finish this 6ft tall by 8.5 ft wide painting that weighs in at a whopping 227 pounds.
Mr. Johnson, Kate’s husband, had a bit of a sense of humor when choosing to name the paining, which he paid $5,000 for upon completion. If you ask me, Kate Birdsall Johnson sounds like the Original Gangster “OG” Cat Lady!! (If I had that kinda lifestyle, I’d have me some serious artwork of my kitty cat, Mr. Purple:) Meow!)
No one knows exactly what the painting will sell for, but predictions say anywhere between $200,000-$300,000 is most likely. Because after all, there are some SERIOUS cat lovers out there. For now, the legendary artwork is on full display for all to see smack dab in the center of the Sotheby’s gallery in NYC.
Polly Sartori, head of 19th century European paintings, drawings, and sculpture says:
“It’s hard not to see it, we’re putting it right in the center of the gallery. The picture is so large and so heavy, we had to make a special wall to hang it; when we originally put the painting up on a normal wall, it pulled the nails right out of the wall.”
This artwork has created quite a stir, and even Satori is surprised with all the hype surrounding this beautiful piece:
“We knew we had a total winner about two months ago, when we had it just leaning up in our cataloging area, and many of our staffers would take a photograph in front of it and post it on Instagram and we hadn’t even posted our press release yet!”
With November 3rd steadily approaching, we’ll keep you posted on the final bidding price. But we’d love to know, what’s your guess? My money’s on $450k, final offer:)