Henriette Ronner-Knip initially painted dogs and other animal pictures, but after 1870 mainly specialized in cats. With unerring skill she depicted the texture of fur, eyes and colouring, while often capturing the sometimes tranquil, sometimes playful or inquisitive nature of cats. Her work was hugely popular among the 19th century’s burgeoning middle classes. Thus her domestic pets were often shown playing, sleeping or crawling on or over expensive furniture and sumptuous fabrics, so fashionable at the time among the newly rich bourgeoisie. Ronner-Knip was knighted for her work in the Netherlands and Belgium alike.