Louis Wain Cats: Story Behind Humorous Cats

Louis Wain — was an English Illustrator best known for his drawings, which consistently featured anthropomorphised large-eyed cats and kittens around turning of the 20th century. His cats are often humorous, but there’s a sad story why Louis began drawing cats.

Louis Wain Cats: Story Behind Humorous Cats

Louis Wain

Louis Wain (imgur.com)

Louis Wain was born on 5 August 1860 Clerkenwell in London. He was the only male child of six to his parents. He was born with a cleft lip and as a child, he was often truant from school, wandering around London.

Louis studied at the West London School of Art and later he taught there. Louis joined the staff at the The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News in 1882, began to draw cats in 1883. Louis specialized in drawing animals and country scenes. Louis achieved the substantial success and became immensely popular.

Louis Wain, White Cat on a Chair

Louis Wain, White Cat on a Chair (bilmiyorsan)

Intelligence in the cat is underrated.

Louis Wain Quotes and Sayings (inspiringquotes.us)

Peter, the Stray Kitten

Louis Wain, Peter sat in his garden

Peter (atpeacewithpink.blogspot.com)

At the age of 23, Louis married Emily Richardson, who was ten years his senior, which was taken quite scandalous at the time. Quite sadly, Emily passed away after three years of their marriage. Prior to Emily’s death, Louis found the subject, which would define his career.

One rainy night, they had rescued a stray black and white kitten after they heard him meowing. During Emily’s illness, this kitty comforted her in a great deal, her spirits were lifted by Peter immensely. And Louis, began to draw extensive sketches of him. Emily couldn’t see them published while she was alive, which she strongly recommend him to publish.

A kitten’s Christmas Party


Louis Wain — A Merry Christmas, Cat Party

The illustration depicted 150 cats, many of them which resembled Peter, doing things such as sending invitations, holding a ball, playing games, and making speeches, spread over eleven panels.

Louis Wain, Kitten Book

Louis Wain, Kitten Book (David Brass Rare Books)

Louis Wain, Kitten Book, white cat and frog playing a violin

Louis Wain, Kitten Book, white cat and frog playing a violin (David Brass Rare Books)

Louis illustrated about one hundred children’s books. And his cats appeared in papers, journals, and magazines. In 1898 and 1911 he was chairman of the National Cat Club.

Cats on Two Feet

Louis Wain, Top Cat

Louis Wain, Top Cat (Pinterest)

Louis’s cats often were illustrated as human, parody of human behaviors, satirising fads and fashions of the day. He would take his sketch-book to a restaurant, or other public place and draw people in their different positions. He tried to express human behavioral characteristics on cats as much as possible.

Louis Wain, Swank!

Louis Wain, Swank! (BUNNY REALNESS)

Despite his popularity, Louis always was financially in poor state. It’s because he had to support his mother and sisters, and his naiveness made him pretty easy to be exploited in business scene.

The Bethlem Royal Hospital

Louis Wain cat

Cat by Louis Wain (DANGEROUS MINDS)

Relatively pleasant with a garden and colony of cats, Louis spent his final 15 years at this hospital. He used bright colors, flowers, and intricate and abstract patterns, which some people claims as a sign of schizophrenia, while other argues as the patterns in his mother’s fabrics.

Louis Wain at his drawing table

Louis Wain at his drawing table (Wikipedia)

Louis realized our imagination on cats into anthropomorphic images. From funny, mischievous to mysterious, a cat can play any roles on his paintings as a great actor. Drawing cats through years should have been his way of love for Emily and by keeping drawing them, Peter might have been alive in his soul.


Louis Wain (ART MAGICK)
 Louis Wain (Wikipedia)

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Originally published at Johnny Times.

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