Hilariously Ugly Cat Art In Medieval Paintings

Internet is filled with adorable cat photos, but there was a time before the modern age when artists really struggled to make cats look cute. While medieval artists excelled at painting religious scenes and portraits of royalty, cats offered an altogether different challenge. It looks like the medieval painters never laid eyes on a cat. Scroll down to feast your eyes on ugly cat art gallery!

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

So why were medieval artists so terrible at painting cats? Here are a few theories: maybe they’d never actually seen a cat before. Back in the medieval times, not everyone had access to the internet (crazy, we know). So if you lived in a small village and didn’t have any cats around, you might not have had a clear idea of what they actually looked like. Or maybe the artists were trying to paint cats from memory, and failing miserably – they’d seen a cat once, thought they could remember what it looked like, and then ended up with something that looked like a cross between a rat and a demon. Or maybe they were intentionally making cats look weird to mess with people. Artists are a mischievous bunch. They love screwing with people. Who wouldn’t be a little freaked out by a cat that looks like it’s plotting your demise?

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

Ugly cat in medieval art.

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7 thoughts on “Hilariously Ugly Cat Art In Medieval Paintings”

  1. It would have been great to know where all these drawings originate – from what books and manuscripts etc, not to
    mention where they are kept.

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  2. I seem to notice a lot of them look like distorted human faces. Whatever that means.

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  3. Medieval artists weren’t aware of perspective yet; they painted babies like mini-adults.
    Perspective in art, shading, and depth of field developed during the Renaissance.

  4. Medieval artists were very much aware of perspective and anatomy. They had the old greeks and romans before them. They chose or were forced to paint this way for religious reasons. From the similarity some of these cats have to human faces I would say that the artists did use humans as models. As the church would often not allow painting humans realistically, just as a religious symbol of some kind, artists were searching for original reasons to paint from observation. The cats were used as symbols for human state of mind, therefore it makes sense to grant them a human face.

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  5. I have a cat with a human face, I like to give him lots of space.
    His expressions delight and scare and surprise
    When he looks at me with those person eyes
    And when they shun him, I don’t balk
    At least the furry man can’t talk…..

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  6. Seeing these felines in all their different incarnations is a delight! Cats aren’t all the same in temperament and by nature they are unpredictable and can be very mysterious creatures; they never forget an act of kindness. They can be loyal and very loving.

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