Image credit The Athenaeum, At Home: A Portrait, Walter Crane, 19872, tempera on paper, 28" x 16", held by Leeds Art Gallery, UK.
And the kitty close-up:
Bugler tells us:
A tabby cat is the final domestic touch in Walter Crane's portrait of his wife, Frances, painted during their extended honeymoon in Italy. The cat must surely be the family pet, but it has all the gravitas of Egyptian sculptures of the feline goddess Bastet; only the twitching ears indicate that this is a live creature rather than a statue.
My take is that this was a brave couple to take a cat to Italy on their honeymoon....which indicates the depth of affection the cat must have had for its humans to undertake such a journey.
[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art. You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]