Cat lovers will love the feline art from the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection

Cat lovers, search for “feline” on the Art Institute of Chicago’s online collection. You’ll be delighted.

If you were searching for artwork featuring cats, you’d most likely search “cat”. Instead, searching “feline” brings up another range of work—a little more ancient in scope. I love how languages work like that. Makes me want to search for all sorts of “secondary” phrases for animals like canine, bovine, etc.

Here’s a list of animal words ending with “INE”

  • Anserine – geese
  • Aquiline – eagle
  • Assinine – donkey
  • Bovine – cattle
  • Cancrine – crab
  • Canine – dog
  • Cervine – deer
  • Corvine – crow
  • Equine – horse
  • Elapine – snake
  • Elaphine – deer
  • Feline – cat
  • Hircine – goat
  • Leonine – lion
  • Leporine – rabbit, hare
  • Lupine – wolf
  • Murine – rodent
  • Pavonine – peacock
  • Piscine – fish
  • Porcine – pig
  • Rusine – deer
  • Serpentine – snake
  • Ursine – bear
  • Vulpine – fox

Some day I’ll so searches on these and report on the counts. Maybe I’ll even dig into the Art Institute’s Public API and pull the counts programmatically. Fancy!

Enjoy these eight hand-selected images of felines from the Art Institute of Chicago’s online collection

Feline Figure” by Chimú, A.D. 1100/1470
Feathered Tunic” by Chimú, 1470/1532
Feline Figurine” by Moche, A.D. 250/550
Cup in the Form of a Feline Head” by Moche, 100 B.C./A.D. 500
Headcloth Fragment” by Chancay, 1000/1476 from artic 1954.219
Feline Mask” by Moche, 100 B.C./A.D. 500 from artic 1980.174
Vessel in the Form of a Seated Ruler with a Pampas Cat” by Moche, A.D. 250/550
Blackware Vessel in the Form of a Feline Sitting on the Back of a Bird” by Nazca, 180 B.C./A.D. 500

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