Exhibition to feature work by artist played on screen by Benedict Cumberbatch

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A new exhibition will display works by an animal artist who is set to be played by the actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

Louis Wain’s artworks will be displayed at Bethlem Museum of the Mind in Beckenham, south London.

The artist, who died in 1939, will be played by Cumberbatch in The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain.

The film, which also stars Claire Foy and Toby Jones, will be released next year.

A painting by Louis Wain (Bethlem Museum of the Mind/PA)
A painting by Louis Wain (Bethlem Museum of the Mind/PA)

Wain found fame as an artist through his images of cats and his work “is a vivid illustration of the links between animals and human wellbeing”, the museum said in a statement.

The museum is at the Bethlem Royal Hospital, where Wain was a patient.

Rebecca Raybone, registrar at Bethlem Museum of the Mind, said: “Louis Wain loved cats, and cat lovers loved Louis Wain.

“These are the absolute treasures of the Bethlem collections and we are excited at being able to show more of our Wain works than ever before.

“His later life can be viewed as a colourful, compelling argument for the possibilities of animal therapy and the enduring ability of animals to lift human spirits.

“I hope that the exhibition shows the influence of cats on Wain’s work, and how they are bound up with his personal life and artistic success – from the solace and entertainment his wife found in their cat while she was ill, to the inspiration Wain took from the cat colony at Napsbury Hospital, where he spent his twilight years.”

Animal Therapy: The Cats Of Louis Wain will run from December 4 to April next year.

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