Monday, April 30, 2012

Cool for Cats

Louis Wain is a fascinating character; an illustrator, born on the 5th of August, 1863, who drew cats obsessively.  His work featured in picture books, newspapers, magazines, comic strips, adds, etc.  He was thought to have been schizophrenic but may have been undiagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.  His studies of cats were anthropomorphic, occasionally a little chocolate box at the start of his career but his later work was, at times, psychedelic.  He fell out of favour after his Victorian/Edwardian heyday but was rediscovered in the 1930's thanks to the efforts of H.G. Wells.  Personal intervention by the Prime Minister saw him relocated from the paupers ward of a mental hospital to a pleasant facility with gardens and colonies of cats, where his interest in drawing was reawakened and he saw out his days.  If he had a guardian angel (apart from his friends in high places) it must surely have had whiskers.....  Contemporary collectors of his works include Nick Cave and Tracey Emin.  

1 comment:

Paul said...

Also the broadcaster David Quantick -