Monet’s cat has found its way home to the artist’s house in Giverny, in northern France. During the painter’s lifetime, the glazed biscuit pottery cat, made in Japan, spent many years curled up on a pillow in the bright yellow dining room lined with Japanese prints. Monet, who loved Japanese art, was probably given the object by an admirer from Japan.
An American visitor recalled seeing the cat in Monet’s house in 1924, a few months before the artist’s death. According to the socialite Pauline Howard-Johnston, it had been placed on a couch: “On a pillow, a white cat—sort of unpolished terracotta—sleeping snugly,” she said. Later, she saw it in the home of Michel, Monet’s second son, who would be killed in a car crash in 1966.
A surprising discovery has now been made about Michel, who married but was assumed to have remained childless. He apparently had an illegitimate daughter, Rolande Verneiges, who was given a treasure trove of Monet works and memorabilia by her loving father. Born in around 1914, she died in 2008, and her existence remained unknown, even to Monet specialists, until last autumn. Read more