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Louis Wain : “A Cat Standing on its Hind Legs” (1925/1939)

Museum Quality Giclée on Fine Art Paper

  • Matte Finish does not pick up glare from interior lighting
  • Smooth Surface maximizes sharpness and preserves detail
  • Accent Borders display the artwork uncropped and ready to mat
  • In-house Printing assures artistic quality standards

Louis Wain’s whimsical anthropomorphic cats were a phenomenon during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “He has made the cat his own,” said H. G. Wells. “He invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world. English cats that do not look like and live like Louis Wain cats are ashamed of themselves.”

Initially appearing unclothed and on all fours, they developed into more elaborate human caricatures as his career progressed. However, sometime after 1900 he began displaying signs of mental illness, his behavior becoming increasingly violent and erratic until he was finally committed to an insane asylum in 1924. During this period, vivid, psychedelic patterns emerged from, and in some cases overcame his works until their remaining catlike features were barely discernible beneath fractal-like explosions of kaleidoscopic shapes and colors.

Around the time of his death the story emerged that he had suffered from schizophrenia (possibly triggered by toxoplasmosis) and that his style had become increasingly abstract as a consequence of his deteriorating condition. This was illustrated by a famous series of his paintings that found its way into psychology textbooks, purporting to show an artist’s descent into madness. These, however, were undated and it is unclear that they were actually produced in the order presented, or whether Wain continued to paint his traditional caricatures while experimenting in another direction. Research has likewise questioned the nature of his illness (Asperger’s syndrome and dementia have also been proposed) and its relationship to these late works. Are they the product of madness, genius, or a mad genius?

To the legions of devoted admirers who collect Louis Wain, his madness may remain an enigma, but there is no doubt as to his genius.

(Image by the Wellcome Library, London, CC BY 4.0.)

Product Information

Expect crisp detail and vivid color from our giclée process fine art prints. We use archival pigment inks on cotton fiber paper to achieve a wide color gamut, deep blacks and beautiful tonal transitions. Unlike posters, they will not fade or yellow, but maintain their original quality for as long as you own them.

How to Frame

Historical artworks were produced in whatever shapes and sizes best suited the artists and their patrons, and these rarely correspond to the proportions of modern, mass-produced frames. Most reproductions sold on the web are cropped to an arbitrary standard, compromising the integrity of the original artwork. We solve this by using accent borders to make up any differences in proportion.

Framing may be as simple as inserting the print into a standard size frame with the borders showing. In many cases, our customers choose to have them matted. Borders allow space for framers to mount the print while covering little, if any, of the artwork. Our images are sized to provide desirable mat widths in common frames.

Sizes 9” x 12”, 12” x 16”, and 16” x 20” are designed to be matted in larger frames, such as 11” x 14”, 16” x 20” and 20” x 24”, respectively. Larger prints may be matted in frames of equal size, the borders corresponding to the shape of the mat. Where the artwork is unusually square or narrow, other sizes may be preferred.

If our sizing does not meet your requirements, we provide customization free of charge. Please contact us to discuss the details.

Shipping and Returns

All orders ship within one business day. The following services are available at checkout:

United States
Shipping Class Price Estimated Delivery Window
USPS First Class Parcel Free 3 – 5 business days
USPS Priority Mail $3.99 2 – 4 business days
USPS Priority Mail Express $29.99 1 – 3 days, guaranteed
Canada *
Shipping Class Price Estimated Delivery Window
USPS First Class International $11.99 1 – 3 weeks
USPS Priority Mail Express $56.99 3 – 5 business days
International, Excluding Canada *
Shipping Class Price Estimated Delivery Window
USPS First Class International $17.99 1 – 4 weeks
USPS Priority Mail Express $62.99 3 – 5 business days

* International orders may be subject to import taxes at time of delivery.

Returns Policy

If you are unhappy with your order for any reason, you are welcome to return it within 60 days for a full refund. Please contact us and return your item(s) to: The Ibis 809 Grant Street Endicott, NY 13760

Your return will be processed on receipt.
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