Animal Antics at Bellmans this August with rare pen and ink drawing from the original 'catfluencer', Louis Wain.

28 July 2021
You shall not go down to the water
Lot 491 | signed 'Louis Wain' and inscribed (beneath image), unframed.

"You shall not go down to the water" said the Alligator, and the bears were so thirsty and were obliged to go to bed thirsty

Bellman's is delighted to be offering this signed and inscribed rare pen and ink drawing from the weird and wonderful world of much loved, British artist, Louis Wain (1860 - 1939), as part of the forthcoming August Interiors auctions. This charmingly rare illustration, depicting an enchanting forest with bears and an alligator together, shows a glimpse into Louis Wain's mind and his love for animals, the wonder of childhood and a fascination with the bizarre.

Born in 1860 in London, Louise Wain was best known for his paintings and prints of cats, often playing sports or taking tea. His works often featured in the journals of his time including Illustrated London News and also in illustrating Sporting and Dramatic News. In his youth, mental health illness ushered Wain to favour wandering the streets of London, letting his imagination run riot, than attending school, although he did later go on to study at the West London School of Art. Wains' life continued to be plagued with misfortune, family sickness and personal mental health issues. It almost seems that these much loved, magical world of animals he created were his release, comfort and escape from reality.

H.G. Wells once said of Wain, "He has made the cat his own. He invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world. English cats that do not look and live like Louis Wain's cats are ashamed of themselves."

This rare piece of British charm is being offered at auction, 3rd August, 2pm, at Bellmans' West Sussex within Picture and Prints as part of the August Interiors auctions. Click here for further auction details.