Myth of psychotic cat artist busted


Who could forget these paintings of psychedelic cats from the Life Science Library book called The Mind? I loved studying them as a kid, and reading the story of the artist who painted them. According to the The Mind, Louis Wain was an artist who liked to paint cats, and as Wain's mental condition deteriorated, his cats became more and more abstract.

But the Mind Hacks blog says this is hogwash, according to a biography of Wain, by Rodney Dale called Louis Wain: The Man Who Drew Cats.

Assembling what little factual knowledge we have on [the] paintings, there is clear no justification for regarding them as more than samples of Louis Wain's art at different times. 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. All of which is to say no more than that the eight paintings were done at different times, which could be said of eight paintings by any artist!