Age of Enchantment
Engen RodneyISBN: 9781857595239;
With the death of Aubrey Beardsley in 1898, the world of the illustrated book underwent a dramatic and exciting change. The age of decadent black and white images of scandal and deviance was softened and coloured to delight rather than shock. A pastel toned world of childish delights and an innocent exoticism unfolded in the pages of familiar fables, classic tales and those children's stories like The Arabian Nights and Hans Andersen's Stories. Published with lavish colour plates and fine bindings, these were the coffee table books of a new age. As a result, a new generation of illustrators emerged to develop this burgeoning market, intent upon borrowing from the past, especially the fantasies of the rococo, the rich decorative elements of the Orient, the Near East, and the ethereal, fairy worlds of the Victorians. The masters of this new art form were artists like Edmund Dulac and Kay Nielsen, whose inventive book productions, with those of Arthur Rackham, became legendary. Disciples gathered, including Jessie King and Annie French (Scottish masters of the ethereal and the poetic), the Detmold brothers (masters of natural fantasy), Sidney Sime, a joyously eccentric coal-miner turned artist, Laurence Housman, master of the fairy tale, the Irish fantasies of Henry Clarke and the rich, exotic world of Alaistair.Children's stories were transformed by the imaginations of a group still bowing to the Victorians: Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway, but these were now given a more colourful intensity by Charles Robinson, Patten Wilson, Anning Bell, Bernard Sleigh and Maxwell Armfield. Published to accompany the exhibition of British fantasy illustration at Dulwich Picture Gallery in November 2007, the first such exhibition in Britain and the first world wide for over 20 years (the last being in New York in 1979), this is a fascinating and delightful presentation of the exceptional work of illustrators of fantasy themes at the turn of the 20th century.
- My-Shop 1718