Monalis, also known as the Cat of the Opera, is an early work by 19th century French painter Claude Monet.
Monalises body was covered with the famous cat’s fur.
He was created as part of the Monet Collection in Paris.
The painting is known for being one of Monet’s most famous works, but there’s one other piece in the collection that’s also quite controversial.
The painting of a cat sitting on a table with a piece of bread and a glass of water, or an old man on a couch eating bread.
Monalises original owner died before he could finish the work, but the artist did sell it to an artist friend.
“Monalisa was bought from an art dealer for $30 and then kept for 20 years, then was auctioned off,” explains curator Julie DeWitt.
DeWitt says the owner was a man named Pierre-Auguste Blanck, and was also known for his painting of animals.
It was Blanke who bought the painting in 1882, but when he died, the painting was left in a private collection.
In 2011, DeWitch and her husband started a new project called Monalissas World , which hopes to raise awareness about the painting and bring it to the public’s attention.
We know that there are more cats out there than there are people, and we know that they’re not happy, De Witt says.
So we’re trying to do something to bring it out and give it to people who maybe are unaware of it.
The exhibition is the brainchild of DeWitton and her wife, who have been studying the work for more than 30 years.
They are also looking for a way to show it to young people who might not have seen it before.
“We want people to see the painting to see it in the context of what it’s doing right now,” she says.
“It’s an example of an art that was popular at the time and is a timeless classic, but is now a part of a larger conversation.”
“We know from art history that we don’t have the space to showcase things like this,” she adds.
For now, De Wit is just looking for someone who might be interested to see this beautiful painting.