The five pictures are by Victorian artist Louis Wain who painted cats through the whole of his life and continued through periods of intense psychosis.
Almost every article on Wain uses them to demonstrate the progression of schizophrenia but the evidence for them being painted in chronological order is actually quite weak.
The five pictures are from an original series of eight which were collected by Dr Walter Maclay who was interested in the effect of mental illness on art.
However, the pictures were undated and, as Rodney Dale notes in his biography of Wain (Louis Wain: The Man Who Painted Cats; ISBN 1854790986), “with no evidence of the order of their progression, Maclay arranged them in a sequence which clearly demonstrated, he thought, the progressive deterioration of the artist’s mental abilities.”
In fact, his later works are for the most part conventional cat pictures in his normal…
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