The Cats of Louis Wain
“I take a sketch-book to a restaurant, or other public place, and draw the people in their different positions as cats, getting as near to their human characteristics as possible. This gives me doubly nature, and these studies I think [are] my best humorous work.” – Louis Wain
British artist Louis Wain created an entire world of cats. They ski, swim, pretend to be pirates, have pillow-throwing parties and dress for Halloween. And more often than not, they create chaos as they do it. Wain was a talented artist, creating both beautiful realistic paintings and whimsical cartoon sketches. In his later years, he also painted psychedelic portraits of cats; a style of art that some attributed to his mental illness.
The editors of the London Illustrated News published his first anthropomorphic drawings of cats in their 1886 Christmas issue. But this was just the beginning of Wain’s venture into anthropomorphic art. A hundred books were to follow, and his images also graced the front of hundreds of postcards. Just click on an image below to see a scroll-through gallery of some of his early work.