Claire M. Wain was the younger sister of English artist Louis William Wain. She was born in 1868 in Marylebone, Middlesex, England, to Julie Felicite Boiteux and William Matthew Wain. Claire had five siblings, a brother named Lous Wain and sisters Caroline Wain, Julie Felicie M. Wain, Marie L. Wain, and Josephine F.M. Wain.

Claire’s older sister Marie L. Wain was declared insane when she was 34; she was committed to an asylum, where she died 12 years later. Claire and her four sisters were homeschooled; they were taught by a lady named Emily Richardson, who Louis Wain later married. Claire M. Wain was never married; she stayed at her parent’s home until she died. His sisters were never married too.

About Her Brother

Claire’s brother had a cleft lip at birth and was not to be sent to school until he turned 10. When he started attending school, he often skipped classes and roamed in London. He later attended the West London School of Art, where he studied and became a teacher. At 20, Claire’s father died, and Louis was left to support his sisters and mother.

Her Brother’s Personal Life

Claire’s brother married Emily Richardson, his sisters’ private tutor, in 1983, then moved to Hampstead, where he had rented. At the time of their marriage, Louis Wain was 23, and Emily Richardson was 33; life at first was good for the couple, but things started becoming hard when Emily was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Claire’s brother’s wife died after three years of struggle with the disease. When she was sick, their cat, which they had rescued, offered comfort, and because Louis was obsessed with cats, most of his drawings were cat drawings. Upon the death of his wife, Claire’s brother fell into depression and could only find comfort in cats, especially his cat Peter.

Years later, Louis Wain had a mental breakdown following his sister Marie’s death and his cat Peter’s death.

Claire’s Brother’s Career

Despite teaching at the West London School of Art, Claire’s brother quit his position to become an artist. His artistic work was on country scenes and animals, especially cats; he achieved a lot of success and worked for journals such as The Illustrated London News and Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News.

He drew portraits of every kind, and his work was unique and loved. Despite his success as an artist, Claire’s brother was often broke since he was often misled and misguided. Besides, he also took care of his sisters and mother.

Later Years and Death of Her Brother

In his later years, Louis had mental issues, and his behavior was erratic, so his sisters decided to commit him to a psychiatric unit at Springfield Mental Hospital. He was moved to Bethlem Royal Hospital and Napsbury Hospital, where he died in 1939. While in the health facilities, he continued drawing, and his main subject was cats.


Claire M. Wain died on May 20, 1945, aged 76. Her cause of death was never mentioned, but she was the last to die in her family.