Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hairy and Confused

Ronald Searle’s irresistible cat portraits show many signs of human traits and weaknesses. With exuberant lines and loose brush strokes, Searl created a series of feline caricatures that is very funny and impressively expressive, matched by his tipically humorous titles. These illustrations come from the first 1967 edition of the book
Inefficient cat captured by an astute goldfish
An exceptionally barren cat trying to hatch an infertile egg
Exhibitionist cat trying out certain effects

Two cats discover that love is a many-splendoured thing
Cat of a thousand disguises concealing itself as a rug
Two cats quite calmly making beasts of themselves
Exhausted Persian cat contemplating the advantages of monogamy
Gluttonous right-wing cat attempting to digest the left ing of a chicken
Remarkably hairy cat faced with the problem of dandruff
Acrobatic cat discovering quite unexpectedly that it is too old for the game
Balding cat walking out in an unsuitable wig
Young cat already regretting puberty

By the way, mr. Searle turned 90 last March, and he is still very sharp and active at work. Go here to watch his first television interview in 35 years.


  1. Ronald Searle has long been a favourite, I did get to meet him once years ago when I was a teenager visiting London.
    Did you see his Polaroids, where he scratched into the polaroid when it was developing to create his charactertures?

  2. These are extraordinary!
    Thanks for sharing them with us, I actually haven't heard about him before.

  3. Great find. I had never heard of Ronald Searle before.

  4. Sublime!!! Merci pour cette découverte...

  5. Agnes, Rose and chercat, thanks for your comments, I am glad to have helped you discover the extraordinary mr. Searle.
    Hazel, I am not familiar with the polaroids, would love to see them.

  6. Laura
    I thought that would be easy, google it and the book would be there but no.
    I bought it for a friend years ago, I will see if he still has it, there is no trace of it on the internet.
    all the best

  7. Such a delightful set of images! I am enchanted with Mr. Searle's cats.

  8. NICE - wonderful that you have posted the book - I love this and his work.

    cil -



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