Louis Wain cats in Cotswolds sale

A set of six drawings by the master of cat cartoons, Louis Wain, is sure to have buyers purring as The Cotswold Auction Company upcoming pictures sale on May 21-22.

Scenes from the Courts features feline characters starring as participants in a courtroom drama, all signed by the artist.

Louis Wain cartoon of cats in a courtroom

The ‘purr-fect’ gift for any cat lover, the set of six watercolour and bodycolour drawings are estimated at between £3,000 and £5,000.

Wain was certified insane in 1924 – a decade after suffering a head injury in an omnibus accident – and spent the remainder of his life in psychiatric institutions.

He continued to draw and paint throughout this period, and some critics have seen his later abstract works as a precursor of psychedelic art.

Regarded in his day as a leading UK authority on cats, he later became president of the National Cat Club and was in demand as a judge at cat shows.

Louis Wain cartoon of cats in a courtroom

He was even mentioned in parliament by the first Labour Prime Minister and Wain fan, Ramsay MacDonald.

Wain’s life was the subject of a 2021 film The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the artist.

Auctioneer Lindsey Braune said: “Louis Wain’s drawings were a huge hit with the public nearly a century before cat videos took over the internet.

“They demonstrate humanity’s ongoing love affair with our cute feline companions, and the set of six we are offering in our next sale are sure have buyers purring.”

Louis wain cartoon of cats

Other highlights in the sale include a late 19thcentury Pre-Raphaelite style oil painting of a young woman with windswept hair by an unknown artist, estimated at £300 to £500.

And a trio of landscapes in watercolour by George Arthur Fripp (1813–1896) are also being offered at an estimate of £100 to £200 each.

The Cotswold Auction Company’s sale of Pictures, Antiques and Interiors will take place at its Cirencester saleroom in Love Lane on May 21 and 22.