On the Prowl: Cats and Dogs in French Prints

Sep 05, 2017 - Jun 07, 2018
Volpe Gallery

Kept in homes since ancient times for both pest control and companionship, cats and dogs have also been portrayed for centuries in art ranging from religious works to portraiture. During the nineteenth century, urbanization, industrialization, and the rise of the middle class affected the lives and portrayals of both people and their pets. On the Prowl: Cats and Dogs in French Prints features works from the Zimmerli’s renowned collection of nineteenth-century French graphic arts by artists including Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, Edouard Manet, and Théophile Steinlen. The exhibition explores the ways artists relied on traditional representations of cats and dogs, serving as symbols or indications of status, while also acknowledging their modern lives in Paris’s streets and parks. 

Organized by Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Art


Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen

Summer: Cat on a Balustrade, 1909

Color lithograph on paper

Class of 1958 Art Purchase Fund