Crazy about cats




“He appropriated cats for himself. He invented the cat style, the cat society, the whole cat world. English cats that do not look and do not live like Wayne cats should be ashamed of themselves. ” So the famous science fiction writer Herbert Wells wrote about an equally famous and no less fantastic artist. His name was Louis William Wain.

But we will start, perhaps, not with the artist himself, but with the news that has just excited fans of the contemporary movie superstar Benedict Cumberbatch. It became known that the adored Sherlock Holmes is starting to work on the role of Louis Wayne, and will also become the producer of the biography film directed by Will Sharp. “I am thrilled that I will play Louis Wayne and produce such a special film because I admired the artist’s work for several years thanks to the series“ Flowers ” by Will Sharp. From that moment on, I knew that Sharp would be able to perfectly tell a movie in a movie about the persistence, creativity, and strength of Luis Wayne’s love, ” Cumberbatch told reporters.

So what is Louis Wayne famous for? The answer is simple: cats! This amazing and incredibly talented person all his life (to the very sad end, but more on that later) painted mustachioed-striped. “What is so special? “You ask,” thousands of artists adored cats and painted them! ” It’s true. But Louis Wayne’s cats are still special: they are anthropomorphic, that is, similar to humans. They have human faces, oh, faces, they dress like people, they play cards and golf, fencing, relaxing on the beach … It all looks extremely cute.

Louis Wayne was born on August 5, 1860, in London. He was the eldest child and, besides, the only son of his parents, he had five younger sisters – and by the way, not one of them got married. Having lost his father in his youth, Louis became the sole breadwinner of this whole rather big family. He earned with his talent: he painted village landscapes, domestic animals – in a word, continuous agriculture.

And then a cat appeared in his life. More precisely, the kitten whom the artist called Peter is no less than in honor of Peter I. But even earlier in the life of Luis Emily appeared, his biggest and only (except for cats) his love. It was pure misalliance: Emily Richardson was almost 10 years older than Louis and, moreover, served as the governess of his sisters. But Wayne fell in love with her and married her. Unfortunately, the wife soon became seriously ill – it was then that Peter appeared in the house, whom the artist took to entertain Emily and give her positive emotions in the days of illness. Wayne taught him various tricks, for example, wearing glasses and sitting motionless in front of a book, as if reading. And of course, he painted a cat: “Actually, thanks to him, I laid the foundations of my career, began to develop and strengthen my creativity.”

Cats became the main theme of the work of Louis Wayne. A great many of them live in children’s books: the artist illustrated more than a hundred books, and he is often called the greatest illustrator of the Victorian era.

If you look carefully, you can not help but admit: these cats are a bit strange. And not only because they remind people …

Obviously, the fact is that Wayne was not quite healthy. In 1924, with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, he was admitted to the Springfield Psychiatric Hospital. The conditions there were terrible, and the artist was popular, and his fate was not indifferent to the English public. Journalists found Wayne and made a fuss in the press, after which well-known people intervened – Herbert Wells, already named by us, and even the Prime Minister, and the artist were transferred to the famous Bedlam clinic of Bethel, and then to an even more comfortable institution in Hertfordshire with a beautiful garden. There he lived the remaining years until his death in 1939.

The disease progressed, but Wayne continued to draw seals. However, now they have become even more strange, abstract. Not cats, but fractals …

Now the work of Louis Wayne is incredibly popular, collectors are willing to pay a lot of money for them. But throughout his life, the artist was more than blithely concerned with copyrights to his own paintings, which is why there are a lot of fakes around the world today.

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