For most pet owners, their fur babies are considered works of art in and of themselves. The way their little wet noses shine in photos and how they elegantly fold their paws over one another… Pure masterpieces. Sometimes, however, pet parents capture their little ones at just the right moment, creating portraits that belong in an art museum.

In celebration of all of these gorgeous pictures of pets, the Pet Renaissance subreddit was born. We’ve gathered some of the best Renaissance pics of pets down below that Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo would be proud of, as well as an interview with the subreddit's creator, so we hope you enjoy your scroll through our art gallery today.

Be sure to upvote the pictures you’d like to see hanging in the Vatican Museums, and then let us know in the comments if you have ever seen your pets posing like models of the Renaissance. Then if you’re looking for even more high art after finishing this list, might I suggest you check out another Bored Panda article featuring similar photos right here.

#1

Our Cat Trying To Steal Cheese

Our Cat Trying To Steal Cheese

Loptimist Report

Biliegh Berrie
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've never wanted to give cheese to a cat so bad in my life.

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The Pet Renaissance subreddit has only been around since 2019, but it has a loyal following of 34k members. It is clearly a beloved page for people passionate about their pets and those who enjoy appreciating these beautiful works of art. To gain more insight into how the group was formed and is run, we reached out to the creator and one of the moderators, Openminded__skeptic on Reddit. She told us that the subreddit began as a companion to the original Accidental Renaissance subreddit, which we have also featured on Bored Panda before. “We were getting dozens of pet submissions daily and felt there was a place for a ‘Renaissance’ subreddit specifically for well composed photos of pets that resemble art,” Openminded_skeptic explained.

We also wanted to hear from the expert what qualifies as a "Renaissance pet photo". "The Renaissance aspect in this subreddit is fairly broad," she told Bored Panda. "But I would say that the pet(s) being the main focus of the photo is important, either centered or using the 'rule of thirds'. It should be a high-quality image that is in focus, and what really makes for the best photos is the lighting: a dark-ish room/background with a light that illuminates your animal's fur (or feathers, scales, etc. depending on the pet) is pretty common. But the light should be soft enough to highlight the pet without washing out the details or colors of the photo," Openminded_skeptic explained. "The fewer extra items in your photo, the better."

#2

She Is One With The Darkness

She Is One With The Darkness

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#3

Habsburg Royal Family

Habsburg Royal Family

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To provide a greater understanding of what photos are perfect for this subreddit, Openminded_skeptic gave me some examples of some of her favorite posts from the community. The first photo she provided was one that is certainly on this list: a photo of a cat reaching up onto a table and trying to steal cheese. She noted that it is her personal favorite, and I can certainly see why. The next example she provided is a photo captioned “Caravaggio esque dog”, which also perfectly embodies the vibe of the subreddit.  

Openminded_skeptic also noted that all pets are welcome in this subreddit, and linked this magnificent photo of a baby gerbil. The subject was only 17 days old when the photo was taken, but she certainly emanates that 17th century painting vibe. Another great photo showcasing animal diversity among the group is this one, featuring what appears to be an adorable white weasel.   

#4

Family Of Strays Moved In With Us

Family Of Strays Moved In With Us

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#5

Et Ascendit Cattus

Et Ascendit Cattus

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#6

The Cat With The Pearl Earring

The Cat With The Pearl Earring

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TheAquarius1978
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Stunning, love the original painting, and this picture is só good.

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One photo Openminded_skeptic shared with Bored Panda that actually looks like a painting is this one, which has also made it onto this list, featuring two dogs behind a dirty glass door. The dogs look like they are perfectly posing an that someone has immortalized the moment through hours of painstaking painting. But some of the photos shared in the group literally look like famous paintings, such as this one of “Henry drying off from his walk” that looks eerily similar to a depiction of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Carlo Dolci.

Openminded_skeptic also provided a couple of photos that look like they could easily have been Chiaroscuro paintings, such as this image of a cat enjoying some sunlight next to dark shadows and this photo of a black dog dramatically gazing upwards. And then there’s this cat that looks a little too much like Icarus flying dangerously close to the sun. Does art imitate life or life imitate art?

#7

The Fall Of The Squirrels (16th Century), Europe

The Fall Of The Squirrels (16th Century), Europe

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#8

Reddit, Meet Amber! My Renaissance Queen!

Reddit, Meet Amber! My Renaissance Queen!

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#9

I Suppose You're All Wondering Why I've Gathered You Here Today

I Suppose You're All Wondering Why I've Gathered You Here Today

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When asked why these photos are so captivating, Openminded_skeptic told Bored Panda, “People truly love their pets, and I think it's gratifying to be able to capture that indefinable quality about your pet that makes them special to you and be able to share it with others. Most pet owners sincerely believe that any photo of their pet is a work of art worthy of the Great Masters, and this subreddit is a way to share some of those photos that actually do resemble art!” She’s absolutely correct. Several years ago for Christmas, I commissioned an artist friend to create a painting of my mother’s dog to make the perfect Christmas gift. And while I already believed that every photo (and that painting) of my mother's dog is a masterpiece, I’m now inspired to start snapping Renaissance photos of her as well.

#10

Casual Renaissance Portrait Of My Dog On The Couch

Casual Renaissance Portrait Of My Dog On The Couch

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When it comes to the success of this subreddit, Openminded_skeptic admits that it was a pleasant surprise. “I honestly didn't know that this subreddit would grow that much, but shortly after we launched it, we gained about 20,000 subscribers over one weekend,” she explained. “That sort of gave it a forward momentum that really hasn't slowed down. It's been great, and honestly surprising to have it grow to 33k; subreddits are notoriously difficult to grow.” And while the group has already grown at a very fast pace, I am sure that it will continue to gain momentum over time. I mean, adorable photos of pets and homages to Renaissance artwork. What’s not to love?

#13

Quiet Contemplation Of Universal Truths

Quiet Contemplation Of Universal Truths

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#15

And In Through The Nose

And In Through The Nose

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While it may sound silly at first to combine our beloved pets with Renaissance art, it was actually popular during the Renaissance to incorporate animals into artwork. According to Art Gallery UK, painters often depicted their subjects with their dogs, as they are symbols of loyalty, faithfulness, protection and love. One notable example is Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas painting, which features a large dog resting in the corner. Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait also features a small puppy in the middle of the painting, standing between its two human subjects. In both of these paintings, there is no real necessity for the dogs to be present. But they are adorable, and the painters felt including them was important. So even though they could not have Instagram accounts or subreddits celebrating their fur babies centuries ago, they still wanted them immortalized in paintings.       

#16

My Mother’s Kitty Used To Prop Himself Up Against The Couch Pillow For Belly Rubs. He Was A Patient Kitty

My Mother’s Kitty Used To Prop Himself Up Against The Couch Pillow For Belly Rubs. He Was A Patient Kitty

ukoa Report

#17

The Dogs Through A Dirty Glass Door Look Like A Old Painting

The Dogs Through A Dirty Glass Door Look Like A Old Painting

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Babsevs
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Peeping through their own nose art on the glass ;)

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#18

Rip Martin Lucifer Kitty, Prince Of Darkness, His Dark Majestic Majesty. You Are Missed And Loved, But Never Forgotten

Rip Martin Lucifer Kitty, Prince Of Darkness, His Dark Majestic Majesty. You Are Missed And Loved, But Never Forgotten

Thaxarybinks Report

According to History.com, Renaissance art “sought to capture the experience of the individual and the beauty and mystery of the natural world”, so it makes perfect sense to use this same style when photographing our beloved pets. But it has also become a trend to have actual paintings done or digital images created inserting adorable animals into famous Renaissance works of art. One site that provides this service is Crown & Paw, where pet parents can upload a photo of their beloved fur baby, choose a costume for them, and order a painting featuring their animal as an ambassador, general, princess, queen, count, aristocrat, king, etc. You can see some examples of their artwork right here.      

#19

My Cats Touching Paws

My Cats Touching Paws

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#20

Henry Drying Off From His Walk

Henry Drying Off From His Walk

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#21

Cat And Her Best Friend

Cat And Her Best Friend

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And people say cats don’t really love us. Such b******t. They’re jealous because cats just don’t like THEM.

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While pet owners can certainly celebrate their beloved animals while they are still alive by having a Renaissance painting of them done, it can also be a beautiful way to memorialize them. The images are a bit silly, but they are still heartwarming and a wonderful way to ensure your sweet fur baby is always with you. “Although we don’t like to think about it, we tend to outlive our pets,” Crown & Paw explains on their website. “Having a pet painted in a way that shows them as regal, looking on elegantly and protectively from above the mantle or in an area in the home that the pet frequented allows owners to turn their loss into something a little more positive and a little less painful. It gives them a chance to see their pet's face regularly and smile, instead of getting caught in the grief and pain that often comes with these losses.”

#22

Morning's Sorrow

Morning's Sorrow

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#23

The Ring - By Szilárd Simkó (The Sighthound Photographer - )

The Ring - By Szilárd Simkó (The Sighthound Photographer - )

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#24

I Miss My Beautiful Sally So Much. She Was The Prettiest Model

I Miss My Beautiful Sally So Much. She Was The Prettiest Model

raccooncoon Report

And while a Renaissance painting of your pet will make an excellent gift or a way to memorialize a lost fur baby, there is really never a bad time to commission a Renaissance painting of your pet. “Some people buy pet paintings just because,” Crown & Paw notes. “You don’t need a reason to buy one, either for yourself or a loved one. Sometimes you just do it because they’re unique and adorable and you love your pet. There’s nothing wrong with a little splurge every now and again. It’s a fun piece of artwork to hang in your house, and will absolutely be a cherished piece of your family history in the future.”

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#27

Goodbye Best Friend

Goodbye Best Friend

kekboy Report

We hope you're enjoying these beautiful Renaissance pet photos and that you're becoming inspired to turn your home into Michelangelo's studio the next time your little fluffy friend starts posing for the camera. Keep upvoting the pics you find most hilarious and awe-inspiring, and then let us know in the comments if you've ever captured a Renaissance masterpiece of a photo of your pet. Then if you're interested in seeing even more of these images, you can find the Pet Renaissance subreddit right here.

#28

Honestly Any Picture Of Angel Is Majestic But This Is An Extra Big Mood

Honestly Any Picture Of Angel Is Majestic But This Is An Extra Big Mood

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Bouche Clay
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Majestic is definitely the right word.

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#29

Fire And Brimstone

Fire And Brimstone

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#30

The Creation Of Kitten

The Creation Of Kitten

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#31

Lost In The Sauce

Lost In The Sauce

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#32

Why Of Course I Cross My Legs. I Am A Proper Lady After All

Why Of Course I Cross My Legs. I Am A Proper Lady After All

AuntieMamesTravels Report

#33

The Sistine Chapel Is Missing A Fat Baby Angel

The Sistine Chapel Is Missing A Fat Baby Angel

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#34

Hiding Under The Blanket On My Bed

Hiding Under The Blanket On My Bed

Asheetakah Report

Bouche Clay
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

All the better to pounce you, my dear.

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#35

Perfectly Timed Tail

Perfectly Timed Tail

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#36

Cattle Dog With Flowers

Cattle Dog With Flowers

skez Report

Bouche Clay
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wonder what a flower dog with cattle would look like.

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#37

Cat In A Window

Cat In A Window

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#40

My Cat Become Saint Lately, Friend Said That It Belong Here

My Cat Become Saint Lately, Friend Said That It Belong Here

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#41

Magnificent

Magnificent

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Misstaken138
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Awwww.... That's ridiculously adorable!

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#42

My Cats Like To Sleep In Very Odd Positions

My Cats Like To Sleep In Very Odd Positions

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#43

Other Redditors Suggested That I Should Post This Here 🙂

Other Redditors Suggested That I Should Post This Here 🙂

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#44

I’m Gonna Miss My Boy. My Camera Was A Little Messed Up At The Time, But I Hope This Fits Here. His Name Was Sparky!

I’m Gonna Miss My Boy. My Camera Was A Little Messed Up At The Time, But I Hope This Fits Here. His Name Was Sparky!

miilkweed Report

#45

My Garden Bench, Thank You Very Much!

My Garden Bench, Thank You Very Much!

MyKalicat Report

#46

Cheeto In Caravaggio Lighting

Cheeto In Caravaggio Lighting

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#47

My Cat Decided To Sit At Just The Right Place

My Cat Decided To Sit At Just The Right Place

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#48

I Guess This Fits Here

I Guess This Fits Here

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#49

My Friend Texted Me This Beautiful Picture Of Her Affectionately Holding Her Cat That Reminds Me Of The Works Of Batoni Pompeo And Artemisia Gentileschi

My Friend Texted Me This Beautiful Picture Of Her Affectionately Holding Her Cat That Reminds Me Of The Works Of Batoni Pompeo And Artemisia Gentileschi

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#50

Merlin And Me

Merlin And Me

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a lovely relaxed, and warm picture!

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Note: this post originally had 130 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.