Purr-fect paintings

Fine art and pet lovers everywhere will delight in an irresistible new book featuring Impressionist masterpieces lovingly recreated with a feline twist.

“Impressionist Cats,” (62 pages, 32 illustrations $12.95), which Thames & Hudson will publish June 2, is the latest in the “Cats in Art” series by painter Susan Herbert.

Set up as a catalog for the fictitious “Fishbone Museum,” the book features page after page of Impressionist classics — with cats substituted for the human models.

No matter who your favorite Impressionist or Postimpressionist painter is, you’ll be charmed by Herbert’s appropriations.

Which will be your favorite — cats strolling in a field of wild poppies (Claude Monet); Tahitian cats sunbathing (Paul Gauguin); kitty card sharks (Paul Cezanne); a mother bathing her kitty (Mary Cassatt); fat cats bellying up to the bar (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec); balletic felines at the Paris Opera (Edgar Degas); a catty blue-eyed self-portrait (Vincent van Gogh); or cats boating on a river (Pierre-Auguste Renoir)?

“With their pensive brooding, or mischievous expressions, these cats convey the playfulness, melancholy and sheer vitality of the Impressionist painters,” the publisher notes. “At home or out dancing, bourgeois or intellectual, charming or steeped in despair, these Impressionist cats appear as if caught by the artist spontaneous and unprepared in their favorite Parisian haunts, or enjoying everyday hobbies and activities.”

Even finicky felines would have to agree that it’s the purr-fect match of subject and artists.

For more, visit thamesandhudsonusa.com.

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