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FS37: Three Day Fine Art Sale

Louis William Wain [1860-1939] - Mrs Tabby's Academy

Auction Lot FS37/561

Louis William Wain [1860-1939] - Mrs Tabby's Academy - signed bottom right watercolour, pen and ink on paper 35.5 x 50cm * Biography Born in Clerkenwell in London on 5th August 1860 to an English father and French mother, Wain was one of six children and the only boy. He did not attend school until he was ten and often played truant. in his late teens, Wain attended the West London School of Art and eventually became a teacher at the school. Louis Wain decided to strike out on his own and became a freelance artist. His speciality was drawing animals and rural subjects in which he became extremely successful and worked for journals such as Illustrated London News and Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. in 1883 Wain married Emily Richardson, his sisters' governess. Richardson was ten years older than Louis and this caused quite a scandal. She suffered from breast cancer and during this illness she was comforted by their pet cat Peter, who Louis would sketch. Emily died three years later and it is this sad episode that was to define the rest of the illustrator's career. He continued sketching cats and his first drawing of anthropomorphised cats was published in an Illustrated London News Christmas issue in 1886. His cats would parody humans while he satirised fashion and popular trends of the day. in his early years, the cats generally remained on all fours and were much more naturalistic in their poses; it was only later in his career that he produced cats walking upright with wide eyes and broad smiles, also wearing clothing. Despite his phenomenal output in both postcards, sketches and book illustrations, his mental state was frail and in 1924 he was committed to a pauper ward of Springfield Mental Hospital suffering from schizophrenia. He remained in several different institutions, although he carried on sketching cats for pleasure right up until his death in 1939.

Louis William Wain [1860-1939] - Mrs Tabby's Academy (FS37/561) offered in our Three Day Fine Art Sale starting on 22nd January 2018 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

Lot Description

Louis William Wain [1860-1939] - Mrs Tabby's Academy - signed bottom right watercolour, pen and ink on paper 35.5 x 50cm * Biography Born in Clerkenwell in London on 5th August 1860 to an English father and French mother, Wain was one of six children and the only boy. He did not attend school until he was ten and often played truant. in his late teens, Wain attended the West London School of Art and eventually became a teacher at the school. Louis Wain decided to strike out on his own and became a freelance artist. His speciality was drawing animals and rural subjects in which he became extremely successful and worked for journals such as Illustrated London News and Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. in 1883 Wain married Emily Richardson, his sisters' governess. Richardson was ten years older than Louis and this caused quite a scandal. She suffered from breast cancer and during this illness she was comforted by their pet cat Peter, who Louis would sketch. Emily died three years later and it is this sad episode that was to define the rest of the illustrator's career. He continued sketching cats and his first drawing of anthropomorphised cats was published in an Illustrated London News Christmas issue in 1886. His cats would parody humans while he satirised fashion and popular trends of the day. in his early years, the cats generally remained on all fours and were much more naturalistic in their poses; it was only later in his career that he produced cats walking upright with wide eyes and broad smiles, also wearing clothing. Despite his phenomenal output in both postcards, sketches and book illustrations, his mental state was frail and in 1924 he was committed to a pauper ward of Springfield Mental Hospital suffering from schizophrenia. He remained in several different institutions, although he carried on sketching cats for pleasure right up until his death in 1939.

Provenance

With The Parkin Gallery, 1988, Where Sold For £1750

Price Realised

£3,800

Department

Pictures

Sale Information

FS37: Three Day Fine Art Sale
Monday, 22nd January 2018
Tuesday, 23rd January 2018
Wednesday, 24th January 2018

Okehampton Street, Exeter

This lot will be sold after 2:30pm on Tuesday, 23rd January 2018 as part of the Oil Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings and Pictures section of the sale.

Contact

For more information about this particular auction lot, please contact:-

Okehampton Street, Exeter

Telephone: +44 (01392) 413100

Important Notes

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