, 14 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
It's #Caturday, so what better way to spend #SaturdayMorning then looking back at the extraordinary work of Victorian illustrator and cat lover Louis Wain...
Louis Wain was born in #London in 1860. Although he is best known for his drawings of cats he started out as a Victorian press illustrator. His work is highly collectable!
Wain had a very difficult life; born with a cleft lip he was not allowed to attend school. His freelance drawing work supported his mother and sisters after his father died. Aged 23 he married his sisters' governess, Emily Richardson, 10 years his senior.
Emily soon began to suffer from breast cancer, and she was comforted during her illness by a stray cat they had found called Peter. Wain's sketches of Peter were to lay the foundations of his later career.
Emily soon began to suffer from breast cancer, and she was comforted during her illness by a stray cat they had found called Peter. Wain's sketches of Peter were to lay the foundations of his later career.
Wain was a prolific artist, sometimes producing as many as several hundred drawings a year. In Victorian England cats were regarded with contempt as common creatures, but Louis Wain's anthropomorphic pictures helped change that view.
The popularity of Wain'scat paintings was amazing. H G Wells claimed every house in England had at least one!
As an artist Louis Wain suffered greatly with mental illness. He became depressed after his wife's death and had signifant money troubles...
In the 1920s Louis Wain's mental health grew steadily worse. Although he kept painting his cat pictures took on an other-worldly look: fractal and psychedelic.
Finally in 1924 Louis Wain was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Tooting, London. Many now think his condition was schizophrenia, rather than depression.
It's tempting to see the gradual change in Louis Wain's art style as evidence of his schizophrenia. Yet his creativity remained strong and his artistic ability wasn't hindered by his inner struggles.
After interventions by Stanley Baldwin and H.G. Wells, Louis Wain was moved to a better hospital in London; one where #cats were allowed...
Louis Wain passed away in 1939. His legacy is an amazing collection of images that have inspired artists ever since.
More than anyone else Louis Wane helped change the public's perceptions of cats, as well as supporting animal welfare and anti-vivisection charities. Quite a legacy!

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