World’s Largest Cat Painting Could Have Been Yours for $826,000

You snooze, you lose.  Sotheby’s recently auctioned off the world’s largest cat painting, and it could have been yours…

…for a mere $826,000.

An anonymous buyer snatched the painting up earlier this week.  Probably she is 40 something and lives alone with a lot of cats.

The painting was commissioned by San Francisco millionaire Kate Birdsall Johnson in 1891, and, as the husband of any crazy cat lady understands, was very accurately nicknamed My Wife’s Lovers by Johnson’s husband.

Austrian painter Carl Kahler painted the 8.5′ x 6.25′ behemoth, which weighs in at 227 pounds and was so ginormous that it required its own, specially constructed wall.

my-wifes-lovers
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My Wife’s Lovers

Alas, only 42 of Johnson’s 350 cats–350 cats!!–made it into the final work.  The cat in the center, Sultan, who admittedly is a pretty cool looking cat, cost Johnson a mere $3000. That would be like paying $79,000 for a cat today.

I think it’s safe to say that Kate Birdsall Johnson was a seriously crazy cat lady.

Johnson lived with her furry friends–and her very accommodating husband–on 3,000 acres in the wine country north of San Francisco. Being absurdly rich, she could afford an entire staff to care for her cats. (And if you had 350 cats, you would totally need a full time staff to take care of them.)  In her will, Johnson left a hefty half million dollars to continuing caring for her furbabies.

According to the CBC, “When My Wife’s Lovers first went on exhibit on Friday, two women showed up with folding chairs and just sat and stared at the painting, taking in each different cat and their painted personality.” They were probably crazy cat ladies, too.

Editor’s note: we have nothing against crazy cat ladies.  It’s possible there are several on our staff. *cough*

Source: time.com, huffingtonpost.com, cbc.ca

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