Louis Wain was born on 5 August 1860, in Clerkenwell, London. He studied at the West London School of Art and subsequently became a teacher there. However, he soon left this position to become a freelance artist.
Wain specialised in drawing animals and country scenes and worked for several journals. Through the 1880s, Wain’s work included a variety of animals and, at one point, he hoped to make a living drawing dog portraits.
However, Wain is best known for his drawings of anthropomorphic cats. Such anthropomorphic portrayals of animals were very popular in Victorian times and were found on prints, greetings cards and satirical illustrations.
Sadly, Wain, in his later years, suffered from Schizophrenia and this can be seen in his drawings of that time. In 1924 he was committed to a Mental Hospital but following treatment, continued with his drawings for many years. He died in 1939.