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Wooden-Shoe-Wearing Cat Artist

Henriëtte Ronner-Knip was a Dutch painter best known for her Romanticist depictions of animals, characterized by feathery brushstrokes and warm colors. The dogs and cats she portrayed were often depicted playing or sleeping...because, well, that's what they do, right?

Born on May 31, 1821 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands into a family of painters, her father gave Ronner-Knip her first lessons. She also is known for having painted several royal portraits, notably including the lapdogs of Marie Henriette of Austria and Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.

In 1850, she married Feico Ronner (1819-1883) and they moved to Brussels. She narrowed her subject matter, focusing almost entirely on dogs and cats. After 1870, she painted her most famous works, featuring long-haired, often playful cats in bourgeois settings. Ronner-Knip exhibited her work at the Palace of Fine Arts at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.

In her later years, she had a house with a large garden, where she kept hunting dogs, cats and a parrot that she used as models. After observing them in her studio, she would make paper sculptures in the desired poses and set them together with props, such as furniture and fabrics.

In 1887, she was awarded the Order of Leopold. In 1901 she became a member of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

She died on March 2, 1909 in Ixelles.

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