Louis Wain (1860-1939, British)
The English artist Louis Wain’s, depictions of cats in art during the Victorian era caused their popularity to rise to a height not known since they were first worshipped as the Goddess Bast.
Peter, a black and white kitten, whom Wain had taken in as a stray comforted his wife Emily throughout her illness, and Wain taught the cat various tricks to cheer his wife. He began to draw Peter, and Emily encouraged him to try and have the pictures published. Later Wain was to write, “To him, properly, belongs the foundation of my career, the developments of my initial efforts, and the establishing of my work.” (Wikipedia) Over the next 30 years, Wain would produce hundreds of drawings a year, illustrate about a hundred children’s books, and publish in magazines and journals.
Wain is quoted as saying, “I have found as a result of many years of inquiry and study, that people who keep cats and are in the habit of petting them, do not suffer from those petty ailments which all flesh is heir to. Rheumatism and nervous complaints are uncommon with them, and pussy’s lovers are of the sweetest temperament. I have often felt the benefit after a long spell of metal effort, of having my cats sitting around my shoulders or half an hour’s chat with Peter.”