Louis Wain & The Cat Show: Cat art in its Victorian and Edwardian splendour

British artist Louis Wain is well known for his admiration of the feline species, having depicted them in hundreds of drawings.

Now Chris Beetles Gallery, near Piccadilly in London, is showcasing the very best of cat art in the Louis Wain & The Cat Show 2018 exhibition.

This year’s annual exhibition of the world’s most celebrated cat art includes almost 200 works – over 125 paintings, drawings and sketches by Louis Wain (1860-1939), as well as watercolours by Lesley Anne Ivory, Kathleen Hale, Susan Herbert and Lesley Fotherby.

The eccentric artist, Louis Wain, became a household name at the turn of the century for being “The Man Who Drew Cats”.

Louis Wain’s cats walked upright, smiled broadly and used other exaggerated facial expressions, and wore sophisticated, clothing of that era. His illustrations showed cats playing musical instruments, serving tea, playing cards, fishing, smoking, and enjoying a night at the opera. Louis Wain’s drawings appeared in periodicals and his own annuals and then, increasingly on prints and postcards.

Louis Wain & The Cat Show 2018 chronicles the artist’s fascination with cats – from his early humorous workings, to his personal onset of schizophrenia which gradually transformed his art style, making his depictions of cats bright, highly patterned and apparently in keeping with Jazz Age Modernism.

Images Source: Chris Beetles Gallery

Louis Wain & The Cat Show is on at Chris Beetles Gallery in St James’s, London from now until 29 September

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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