(Linz 1855 - 1906)

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Portrait of a young elegant lady and her angora cat. Surrounded by tropical plants in dark red tones, contrasting with the bright white gown and cat. She is sitting on a chair. Oil on canvas. Original frame. 

Size: H 71cm x W 63cm – H 107cm x W 100 cm

Austrian School

Lit: Carl Kahler was born in Austria and trained in Munich, Paris and Italy, where he won several important prizes. He arrived in Melbourne from London in December 1885, and commenced a successful portrait practice, exhibiting several times with the Australian Artists Association, and numbering the Governor, Sir Henry Brougham Loch, and his family amongst his sitters. However, he is best remembered for three major paintings, The Lawn at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day (1887); The Derby Day at Flemington (1888-9) and The Betting Ring at Flemington (1889), all owned by the Victoria Racing Club. These works were highly praised in contemporary newspapers, and photographic reproductions of them were soon made by the famous firm of Goupil in Paris. In 1890 Kahler left Australia for New Zealand, whence he travelled to San Francisco. There, Kahler became interested in painting cats only after accepting a commission from Kate Birdsall Johnson, a California millionaires. “My wife’s lovers”, is his most famous painting ( sold for $ 862.000 at Sotheby’s in 2015). Kahler painted the 42 cats after sketching them for three years! The artist continued to paint cats until he was killed in the San Francisco earthquake of 18 April 1906.

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