Frank Paton was born on November 23, 1855 in Stepney, London, the youngest of seven children. Paton showed an early talent for drawing animals and was encouraged to pursue his artistic talents. At age 16, for his first exhibition, he presented a portrait of a German peasant girl. He became a well-known and successful artist during his lifetime even though never a member of the Royal Academy. Queen Victoria is said to have admired his works. His most famous paintings are “Fairest of Them All” and “Puss in Boots”. Frank Paton’s cats are typical of the 19th century style. They are mischievous and cute inside the house and out, all the while beckoning us to love them.
Because of his relationship with Edward Ernest Leggatt, who ran an art dealership in London, Paton’s works were published annually from 1880 until 1909 on Christmas cards and were quite commercially successful. Paton died in 1909 of a heart attack. Ironically, his last published Christmas card was entitled, “The End of the Day” which was signed on the day he died.