See Louis Wain’s Exuberant Cat Art at the Hospital Where He Spent His Later Years | Smart News

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Illustration of Louis Wain, a cat singing Carol
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

In 1886, a lesser-known artist named Louis Wain contributed a swelling illustration of a festive cat to the Christmas edition of Christmas. Illustrated London News, A well-known weekly newspaper. The picture, entitled “Kitten Christmas Party,” features nearly 200 cats enjoying a holiday festival. They give speeches, play games, and make a fuss. Victorian people, who have just begun to see cats as cute pets rather than wild pests, have fallen in love with them. Wayne then became the most well-known and popular commercial artist for his humorous, affectionate, eye-opening depictions of cats engaged in a variety of human behaviors.

Throughout his life, Wayne was considered a quirky character. However, his behavior eventually became embarrassingly unstable, and in 1924 he was identified as “insane” and promised asylum.Now Brian Voucher Artnet newsThe Bethrem Royal Hospital in southeast England, where Wayne lived until 1930, held an exhibition of his cat art in time for its release in the United Kingdom. Louis Wayne’s electrical life, A recent biography featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as a cat-loving artist. (US readers can stream movies on Amazon Prime Video.)

“Animal Therapy: Louis Wain’s Cat” is currently on display at the Bethrem Mind Museum on the grounds of a hospital in Beckenham, Kent. This virtually visible exhibition features a series of artwork that shows “the impact of cats on Wayne’s work and how cats relate to his personal life and artistic success.” It is said that.Komami Guardian..

The origin of Wayne’s obsession with cats is certainly very personal. In 1884, he married Emily Richardson, who was working as governor of Wayne’s sister (played by Claire Foy in a new movie). Shortly thereafter, Wayne’s senior Richardson was diagnosed with breast cancer. The couple’s cat, Peter, was very comfortable for her. After a three-year recovery period, Wayne painted a pet to entertain Richardson, who died in 1887. “I remember the relief sigh that came from her. [Peter’s] The body relieved her pain and calmed her into a restful sleep, “the artist once wrote.

Wayne often portrayed cats in cheeky and anthropomorphic scenes. His kitten crickets, slides down a snow-covered hill with a toboggan, and excites and clasps a little cat doll. Their eyes are big, a little wicked, and characteristic of his work. But even Wayne’s simpler paintings are full of humor. One of the simplified works on display at Bethlem features only a grinning cat’s head and a very cat-like caption “I’m happy because everyone loves me.” I am.

Illustration of a cat singing a Christmas carol

Despite being hospitalized, Wayne continued to paint and create Christmas-themed artwork at the request of nursing staff.

Bethrem Mind Museum

According to the Bethrem website, artist illustrations became widely known from the 1880s to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. However, Wayne was a poor businessman, often unable to make a profit, and the war made him poor. As his financial situation deteriorated, so did his mental condition. Since the early 1920s, Lisa Hix has written: Collector’s Weekly In 2019, artists were obsessed with relocating furniture. He also claimed that the spirit tortured him and repeatedly physically attacked his sisters.

Wayne continued to create quirky cat art even after being hospitalized in 1924. The new exhibition, for example, mirrored a series of Christmas-themed artwork after a staff member asked to help decorate the ward during his stay in Bethlem. With the evil look of sports, cats eat plum pudding and sing carols.

The artist was institutionalized in Bethlem (more commonly known as Bedlam) when he was transferred to Napsbury Hospital near St Albans between 1925 and 1930. He remained in Knapsbury until his death in 1939 at the age of 78.

“Animal Therapy” also includes several paintings of “Kaleidoscope Cat” by Wayne depicting a cat’s subject in bright colors and intricate patterns. Some of them are dazzlingly abstract. Psychiatrist Walter McRae discovered the painting in a junk shop in the 1930s. He later ordered them in order and advertised them as an example of Wayne’s descent into madness.

Wayne on his drafting board with some cat inspiration

Wayne on his drafting board with some cat inspiration

Ernest H. Mills / Getty Images

Colin Gale, director of the Bethlem Museum, becomes Andrew Pulver Art newspaperThe kaleidoscope artwork was never dated and their placement in the sequence was purely speculative.

“Paintings are clear evidence of Wayne’s experiments in color and pattern,” the exhibition claims, “but not evidence of mental deterioration.”

With a plethora of artwork, the show provides subtle portraits of artists that have often been misunderstood and overlooked in the years following his death.

“Visitors will be rewarded with a show that is engaging and vibrant and uplifting,” says Gale. Guardian.. “Wayne’s picture made him famous in his life. We hope to play our role in making him stand out.”

“”Animal-assisted therapy: Louis Wain’s catIs on display at the Bethrem Mind Museum Until April 2022 in Kent, England.

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