Archive for the ‘fantasy art’ Category

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Illustration: N. C. Wyeth’s Legends of Charlemagne

N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne

 N C Wyeth N C WyethToday, we digitized a beautiful first edition of Bulfinch’s "Legends of Charlemagne" illustrated by N. C. Wyeth. No illustrator of the golden age had a wider influence on the world of art than Wyeth. His son, Andrew Wyeth became a reknowned fine artist, and many of his other children and grandchildren became artists and musicians as well.

Wyeth studied under illustrator Howard Pyle, and quickly made a name for himself. His first published art was a cover for the Saturday Evening Post, a plum job right off the bat. In his early days, he was known as a Western artist. He travelled West to soak up the landscape. The trip resulted in a portfolio of images of Indians that vividly capture the light and spirit of the Old West.

Wyeth is best known for his book illustrations though. In 1911, he painted 16 color plates for Scribner’s edition of Stevenson’s "Treasure Island". It remains the classic version of the book. Wyeth was incredibly prolific over the next decade or so, "Treasure Island" was followed by "Kidnapped", "The Black Arrow", "The Boy’s King Arthur" and many more. The book we are presenting today was published in 1924 by David McKay. It displays Wyeth at the top of his form. Even the endpapers are beautiful!

N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne
N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne
N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne
N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne
N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne
N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne
N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne
N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne
N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne
N C Wyeth Legends of Charlemagne

N. C. Wyeth Biography at the Brandywine River Museum

 N C Wyeth BookGreat news! A new book on N. C. Wyeth is being released… Legendary Art of N.C. Wyeth by J. David Spurlock. It’s been quite a while since a good collection of this fabulous artist has been in print. Pick up a copy at Amazon.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Illustration: Arthur Rackham’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Arthur Rackham

Arthur RackhamArthur RackhamArthur Rackham is probably the single most influential children’s book illustrator. His delicate watercolors define the image of fairy tales in many people’s minds.

If you aren’t familiar with his work, see Bud Plant’s great capsule biography.

These scans are from a rare first edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales from 1909. This beautiful book is jam packed with fabulous color plates and ink sketches.

Rackham’s style merges an organic line and earthy color palette with fantastic imagery. He often slipped faces into trees and clouds, adding an extra layer of wonder to his images. His pastoral subjects often seem to be nostalgic for an earlier time, perfect for bringing fairy tales to life.

Arthur RackhamArthur RackhamWalt Disney admired Rackham’s watercolor and pen & ink style, and instructed Gustaf Tenggren to work with Claude Coates and Sam Armstrong to adapt it for use in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In animation backgrounds however, the sinewy Rackham line was overly busy, distracting from the characters; so Tenggren evolved towards the more dimensional painting style in Pinocchio, which set the standard for Disney cartoons throughout the 1940s.

At Animation Resources one of our projects is to document the images that acted as inspiration to the artists who created the first animated features. No artist fits that bill better than Arthur Rackham. We’re very fortunate to be able to bring the illustrations from this great book to you. I hope you enjoy them.

Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham

If you like what you see, please share it with your friends by linking to this page from your blog or webpage.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Illustration: John Bauer’s Bland Tomtar Och Troll

John Bauer

Like many of the artists we feature here on this blog, John Bauer is a name that not many people know. His career was relatively short, but his influence was far reaching.

John BauerJohn BauerBorn in 1882 in Sweden, Bauer studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. In 1904, he illustrated his first book, Lappland, but in 1907 he began work on a series of Christmas annuals that would make him famous. Bland Tomtar Och Troll (Among Gnomes and Trolls) is a Swedish tradition, beginning in 1907 and continuing to this very day. I’m afraid I don’t speak Swedish, so I can’t speak for the folk tales Bauer is illustrating, but the illustrations are stunning.

Bauer had a way with trolls… they are grotesque, yet appealing. The simple, yet elegant compositions conveyed the essence of the image clearly with a sense of humor that both children and adults could understand. His style influenced generations of artists from Gustaf Tenggren (who took over the Bland Tomtar Och Troll series after Bauer’s death in a shipwreck in 1918), Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and Kay Nielsen to Brian Froud and Jim Henson (The Dark Crystal). This particular edition of Bland Tomtar Och Troll is from 1915, but the images are timeless.

John Bauer
John Bauer
John Bauer
John Bauer
John Bauer
John Bauer
John Bauer
John Bauer
John Bauer
John Bauer
John Bauer

MORE BY JOHN BAUER
Einar Norelius
Einar Norelius
Einar Norelius
Einar Norelius
Einar Norelius
Einar Norelius
Einar Norelius

Very little information on Bauer exists outside of his native country of Sweden. There is a museum dedicated to his work in the city where he was born. If you have any information on this great artist, please let us know about it in the comments below.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.