1893, canvas, oil, 180x260 cm
My Wife’s Lovers, 1893, Kahler Carl, Private collection paintings to artist of ArtRussia
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The Artwork Description

My Wife's Lovers is a canvas painting by Austrian artist Carl Kahler (1855-1906) depicting forty-two of American millionairess Kate Birdsall Johnson's cats. The title of the painting was conceived by the millionairess' husband. Measuring 6 ft×8.5 ft, the canvas weighs 227 pounds (103 kg).


Johnson, who owned 350 cats that she housed in her summer house Buena Vista near Sonoma, California, commissioned the painting in 1891. Having never painted a cat before, Kahler spent three years studying cat poses and learning their habits. He reportedly received around $5,000 for the painting. The center of the painting shows her cat Sultan, bought by Johnson during a trip to Paris. Johnson lent the painting for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and in the next year it was acquired by Ernest Haquette for his Palace of Art Salon in San Francisco. While the salon was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the painting survived it. My Wife's Lovers subsequently hung in Frank C. Havens' Piedmont Art Gallery in Piedmont, California, and was later purchased by a couple from Chicago. In November 2015, the painting was sold at Sotheby's to a private California buyer for $826,000.

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