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I thought you may like to learn about a funny animal artist. http://www.fabprints.com
Louis William Wain was born in the London district of Clerkenwell in London on 5th. August 1860. In his early years he was a sickly child and often skipped school. He attended his early schooling at The Orchard Street Foundation school in Hackney and at The Saint Joseph's Academy, Kennington.
Wain was born with a Cleft Lip and the doctor gave his parents the orders that he should not be sent to school or taught until he was ten years old. As a youth, he was often truant from school, and spent much of his childhood wandering around London. Following this period, Louis studied at the West London School of Art and eventually became a teacher there for a short period. At the age of 20, Wain was left to support his mother and sisters after his father's death.
He had 5 younger sisters and his father worked as a textile salesman and his mother designed Church fabrics and carpets.
Louis Wain studied and trained at The West London School of Art ( 1877- 1882 ) and remained as an assistant teacher until he left in 1882.
After his Father - William Wain's death in 1880 he had to support his mother - Julie Wain and five younger sisters.
To help to support his family he became a freelance illustrator ( initially influenced by Caldecott and May ).
He began to make his name with Dog and Animal drawings at various Dog and Country Shows including the early British National Dog show at Crystal Palance in 1882 ( which later became known as Crufts ).
In 1884 Louis Wain married Emily Richardson ( His youngest sister's governess ). Shortly after he married her she contracted Breast cancer. He brought Emily a Kitten which they called Peter and to entertain her he started drawing Peter in humorous situations and poses.
During this time his wife encouraged him to send some of the humorous cat pictures of Peter to various Magazines and Newspapers which started to make his reputation here in Britain and in America and where his humorous cat pictures were seen in Comics, newspapers and magazines and in 1886 he joined the staff of The illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News.With the success of his funny cat pictures they started to make his reputation here in Britain and in America where his humorous cat pictures were seen in Comics, newspapers and magazines.
In 1886 he was commissioned to produce his funny cat pictures in the Christmas edition of the illustrated London news. These pictures were so successful that his life would never be the same again. Alas, this was tinged with sadness as his wife died shortly afterwards, but knowing that Louis Wain had become a great success.
In the period from 1880's up to the start of the first world war he ruled supreme in cat and animal humour especially the 'Louis Wain Cat' which was recognised worldwide. The Louis Wain cats appeared in Art Prints, Comics, Newspapers, Books, Magazines, Post Cards and Annuals. The Wain cats are to be found in every human activity - from playing golf and other sports, digging up roads, Playing music, Ascot fashions, Driving cats plus lots more.
In 1886 he joined the staff of The Illustrated London News. He was the first illustrator to work consistently within the convention of depicting clothed and standing animals.
His anthropomorphic vision of the world soon brought him fame and as a result he was elected President of the British National Cat Club in 1898 and 1911.
In 1904 Louis Wain wrote a book entitled 'In Animal land with Louis Wain' which was a great success. During 1907 he invested all his savings into various Ceramic's with pictures based on his funny cats and sent most of them to America. Alas, while crossing the Atlantic, the ship capsized and all Louis Wain ceramics went to the bottom of the sea. Due to this misfortune Louis Wain went bankrupt and decided on a temporary move to the United States. He produced strip cartoons for the New York American ( 1907-1910 ) and many other American comics, newspapers and magazines.
In 1910 he returned to England and over the next few years he continued to produce books and supply pictures to various comics, newspapers and magazines.
He continued drawing fanciful cats for newspapers and comics near the end of the first world war. During 1917 he was thinking of experimenting in animation and the film was to be called '*****foot'. Alas, he decided not to persue this project and so the world lost the chance of a genius of comic cat art moving into animation. This year was a turning point in the history of Louis Wain's cats. His sister Caroline died and he fell off an Omnibus and hit his head.
On 4th. July 1939 Louis Wain died at Napsbury hospital.
He is buried at Saint Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Harrow Road, London NW10 in the same burial plot as his 5 sisters and parents. http://www.fabprints.com