louis wain

The works of Louis Wain (5 August 1860 – 4 July 1939), a renowned English artist that specialized in anthropomorphic cats, as painted during his final years in various mental institutions, where allegedly (and very controversially as of now) these show the deterioration of his mind due to an unconfirmed case of schizophrenia. 

Louis Wain (5 August 1860 – 4 July 1939) was an English artist best known for his drawings, which consistently featured anthropomorphised large-eyed cats and kittens. In his later years he may have suffered from schizophrenia (although this claim is disputed), which, according to some psychiatrists, can be seen in his works.

Series of his paintings are commonly used as examples in psychology textbooks to putatively show the change in his style as his psychological condition deteriorated. However, it is not known if these works were created in the order usually presented, as Wain did not date them. Rodney Dale, author of Louis Wain: The Man Who Drew Cats, has criticised the belief that the paintings can be used as an example of Wain’s deteriorating mental health, writing: “Wain experimented with patterns and cats, and even quite late in life was still producing conventional cat pictures, perhaps 10 years after his [supposedly] ‘later’ productions which are patterns rather than cats.” (Source)