This question already has an answer here:

Could it be true:

  • John's paintings of his cat were auctioned. = Some paintings made and owned by John depicting his cat were auctioned.

marked as duplicate by AmE speaker, Edwin Ashworth, user240918, Skooba, Hellion Feb 16 '18 at 19:55

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 2
    It's ambiguous. "John's paintings" could be painted by John, could be owned by John, could be both. – Hot Licks Feb 16 '18 at 3:43
  • 1
    The possessive in English (and many other language) does not always speak of pure ownership: Napolean's defeat at Waterloo is not a defeat that Napolean owned in the sense of a possession. So, since this site is for advanced users of English, I highly encourage you to do research on this topic. – AmE speaker Feb 16 '18 at 4:28

It could be true (paintings not painting)

But a safer assumption is that John is deceased or had his property siezed by debt collectors, for him to be parting with mementos of his beloved pet.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.