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Louis Wain

Look through this prezi to learn all about the odd, yet famous artist: Louis Wain.

Madhurie Dhanrajh

on 1 December 2013

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Transcript of Louis Wain

Louis Wain
born Aug 5, 1860
had 5 sisters (one was mentally insane)
mother also insane
father passed away when he was only 20
lived with his mother for the majority of his life
BY: Madhurie: Swaggest person in the world.
Louis Wain was a freelance artist, and through the 1880s, he started to paint and sell his work, specializing in houses, estates, and mostly livestock.
One day, Louis Wain fell in love with a lady by the name of Emily. Mr. Wain did something which was considered quite scandalous at that time. He married Emily even though she was 10 years older than him! *
* It's okay though, he didn't really care about the gossip. He just cared about love!
But, soon after they were married, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. And only three years into their marriage, she passed away.
While his wife, Emily, was suffering from breast cancer, a stray cat that they later named Peter, came into their house. It was a source of comfort for Emily, and before she passed away she used to play with it and treat it just like a baby. Wain used to often draw sketches of Peter, and Emily used to encourage him to get them published. She died before she could see this happen.
THAT'S why Louis Wain, after that, only drew cats.
One of Louis Wain's early publications of Peter the Cat
Louis Wain specialized in anthropomorphic cats. This is also a form of personification, which is adding human characteristics to non-human things.
A Kitten's Christmas
Party by Louis Wain reached great success when it first came out.
Wain's cats, after he started creating more and more artwork, became more human, even wearing suits and ties, drinking tea, and even playing the clarinet!
This painting was not named, like many of Wain's other paintings.
Ahhh, but Louis Wain couldn't have a happy life now could he? Nah, the dude had to suffer very much. Here's how:
1) Wain had no business sense whatsoever and thus was always poor.
2) He was mental...

He had schizophrenia, which is when you have multiple personalities. He had unpredictable behaviour, and his family finally sent him to a mental ward. You can see how his paintings changed with his mental behaviour below.
You might be saying "Duuuude..." You're right. Above is Louis Wain's paintings and how they changed from the beginning of his career to the end.
Louis Wain, when creating his paintings, would use a lot of vibrant colours, like yellow, green, orange, etc., except for his sketches which were obviously black and white. These bright colours were more distinguishable as his mental state worsened.
Cats aren't really straight and stiff, and some of them are actually quite fat! So naturally, Wain had mostly curvy and wavy lines in his paintings. Usually Wain would use this, but sometimes he would also use straight and horizontal lines (which were mostly located in his early paintings before he got all mental) to represent the surroundings eg. tables, walls, doors, etc.
And here's the big one guys...
Shape and Form:
There was a lot of curvy, rounded shapes in Wain's artwork. You see, in the beginning of his career, he started off normal, with shapes and forms that you would see in everyday life. Then, as his mental state worsened, his paintings became more abstract and rounded. And finally, when he was in his worst, his paintings were sharp, and spiky, almost blunt.
Louis Wain died on the 4 July, 1939. His paintings were very good and will always be remembered. This dude practically breathed on cats. They were his life. Honestly, a cat species who hasn't been painted by Louis Wain, is not a cat worth getting.
Ironically, cats were most likely the cause of Wain's mental illness. It was believed that toxoplasmosis was the cause of his schizophrenia, which is caused by cats, though this claim hasn't been proven yet.
Peter the Cat inspired Wain to draw and paint cats, and it was basically because of the cat, that he attained so much fame. It's a pity that his wife Emily, who loved cats
her husband's paintings, couldn't live to see the combination of both.
Wain and Peter
"I love you Peter..."
A portrait of Louis Wain, staring out a window.
Full transcript