Arthur Heyer Paintings of a Dog Mucki and an Angora Cat

by Michael

Traditional white Persian cat -

Traditional white Persian cat -

This is a short post due to pressure of time. It is on the subject of four Arthur Heyer paintings of a dog Mucki and an Angora cat. I am speculating that the same dog in these four paintings are of Arthur Heyer’s bull dog, which he called “Mucki”. The name is Arthur Heyer self portrait interesting as it seems to be a modified English word, “mucky” meaning messy and we know that our canine and feline companions can at times be a little messy! Of course so can we.

There are, in fact, a number of additional paintings by Arthur Heyer of this dog, which supports my assessment that he kept a bulldog and white long haired cats. Either that or he received commissions to paint the dog at least four times by the same person. I prefer the former assessment.

The cat in each painting is quite probably the same as well; a white long haired cat, the precursor to the Persian cat (now a traditional Persian cat) and at the time called an Angora cat. Actually, in speculating again (dangerous thing to do!) it seems that Mr Heyer painted a young Angora cat in the lower of these four paintings and then the same cat as an adult in the upper picture (the four pictures immediately below are thumbnails by the way).

Arthur Heyer Bulldog and white Angora or Persian cat

Arthur Heyer Bulldog and white Angora or Persian cat

Arthur Heyer Bulldog and white Angora or Persian cat

young angora cat

There almost seems to be an historical record of the passing of the years as the cat grew up from kitten to cat.

For that reason I favour the idea that this cat (if it is one cat) lived with Arthur Heyer and that this is his home that he is painting. He appears to have documented his cat and dog. Here is another painting of a white Persian cat with a kitten. This could possibly be the same cat having given birth to kittens (2 kittens are shown in another painting):

Arthur Heyer white Persian cat and kitten

We don’t know the exact dates when these paintings were completed but Heyer lived between 1872 and 1931 (he died in Budapest). He was 59 years old. Heyer was born in Germany and moved to Hungry in 1896.

The period of his life was the exact time that the cat fancy in Britain was born. Which may explain why it seems that the gorgeous white cat in his earlier paintings is called an “Angora” and a “Persian” in later paintings. This seems to reflect the development of the Persian cat (the most popular cat breed of that era as it was very exotic) in the early years of the cat fancy. I am guessing that Heyer spoke English (judging by his dog’s name) and loved animals (because he painted animals a lot). As a result, he probably had a knowledge of the British cat fancy, the first in the world.

persian cat from the early 1900s

Above is a drawing of a Persian cat from the early 1900s. This cat is very traditional (obviously) and not at all cobby (stocky). The objective of modern day breeders is to breed a cobby rounded cat with very long hair and a flat face (it is like breeding for a round face to match the body and overshooting the mark and leaving one side flat – quite a different animal altogether).

Arthur Heyer paintings of a dog Mucki and an Angora cat to Cats in Paintings

Arthur Heyer paintings of a dog Mucki and an Angora cat – Photos are all in the public domain due to lapse of time.

Comments for
Arthur Heyer Paintings of a Dog Mucki and an Angora Cat

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Dec 14, 2009 I agree
by: Michael

Hi Rudolph. I agree. In fact your Persian cats look very like Arthur Heyer's Angora/Persian cat it seems to me (except they are not white). That makes yours more genuine and true to the this popular cat breed.


Dec 14, 2009 Evolution of the "Persian cat"
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Thanks to Arthur Heyer's paintings,we can learn the actual evolution of the "Persian cat" into its totally unrecognisable form in the 1980's of the "Flat-faced Persian cat". A non cat-fancier would never believe that the present day "Flat-Faced Persian cat", the model of "Cat Shows", is actually a descendant of the "Traditional Persian Cat".



Comments

Arthur Heyer Paintings of a Dog Mucki and an Angora Cat — 3 Comments

  1. Hello, Thank you for possibility to look of name Heyer. A the painter..I have picture of HEYER.A for some time.. and could not find much information about painter.. On the picture : there are two Angora cats playing with clock.. One is sitting on top of the clock and one is playing with pendulum. I got the picture from my father born 1900. He got it in Budapest, as I was told , when he was young . My mom brought the picture to me from Czech rep. to Canada . So it looks the picture was traveling long way and it lives long time too. I wonder if could be ? that this picture is related to those pictures what Mr Michael and Mr. Rudolf is writing about ? Thank you for your informations till now .

    Anna

    Update: picture added by Michael:

    Persian Angora type cats in painting by A Heyer

    • Hi Anna, it seems quite likely to me that you have a painting by Arthur Meyer. Can you photograph the painting and email it to me so we can see it?

      Is it in the same style as the paintings that you see on this page.

      My email address is mjbmeister[at]gmail.com (substitute the [at] for @). Thanks.

    • Hi Anna, thanks for providing a photo of the picture. My gut feel is (a) the provenance is excellent, meaning the history of the acquisition of the painting is great. That supports the idea that the painting is by Heyer (b) the style makes me doubt that it is by Heyer. It looks more modern to me. Almost like a fake but…

      ..I am not an art expert, just a cat person who likes to discuss cats in paintings. So the best thing to do is to get an expert’s opinion. One of the auction houses will do that for you.

      Good luck and thanks for contributing to PoC.

      Michael

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