Paris cats have been celebrated by painters, writers and chansonniers since the 19th century, when Steinlein created the poster for the cabaret ‘Le Chat noir’.
An important place among these artists is occupied by Lila De Nobili, who moved to the French capital in 1945 and never left the 7th arrondissement, its quintessential neighbourhood. She painted and designed stage sets for the Scala in Milan, the Opera in Paris, the Covent Garden in London and many other theatres. Sought by the most famous directors, she designed costumes for Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, Audrey Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman. Just after the events of May 1968, she devoted herself exclusively to painting and adopted her first cat, Ulysse, in her apartment in rue de Verneuil.
The feline family soon grew and Lila never tired of sketching them, drawing them, or painting them in watercolour. Most of these intimate works, full of insight and subtlety, were gifted to a friend, herself a cat lover, by Lila in her last years and thanks to this collection a book can now be published.