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Arthur Rackham illustration
for Grimm's Fairy Tales
Ros Asquith writes:
I discovered Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for Grimm's Fairy Tales aged seven and experienced simultaneous love, terror, enchantment and envy. Fairy tales should evoke such emotions but it was Rackham who drew me in. Here, Red Riding Hood innocently reveals her destination to the wolf, so enabling him to devour her grandmother. Dwarfed by her surroundings, she makes the reader long to cry out a warning. Rackham’s varied, fluent lines – a staccato wolf, vigorous tree, limpid girl – are overlaid with menace. Grimm's, for me, remains his masterpiece, but look too at his Gulliver’s Travels and Peter Pan, of which a contemporary critic wrote 'Mr Rackham seems to have dropped out of some cloud in Mr Barrie’s fairyland, sent by a special providence to make pictures in tune to his whimsical genius.'
Frontispiece for John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress by Robert
Jenny Uglow writes:
Robert White’s 1679 frontispiece to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is faithful not only to the story but to the deep process of imagination itself: 'As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where there was a Denn; And I laid me down in the place to sleep: And as I slept I dreamed a dream.' He sees a man clothed with rags, a book in his hand, crying 'What shall I do?' We can almost feel the dreamer’s mind floating between visions and terrors, while the sensual lion looks out from his cave.
John Tenniel illustrates
Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland
Will Self writes:
When I was a child my parents had a splendid edition of Alice in Wonderland with some of the Tenniel illustrations as shiny colour plates. I was obsessed by Alice – and the illustration that particularly gripped me was of the caterpillar sitting on the toadstool smoking his hookah. It’s easy to see why it exerted such a hold: Tenniel has used the cap and stalk of the toadstool to bisect it vertically and horizontally, and to suggest a strong lateral sightline by positioning Alice so that she looks towards the caterpillar (and beyond him, the reader). This deepens and extends the pictorial space into and out of the picture, so that the two static figures are paradoxically imbued with movement. It’s a suitably hallucinogenic effect – although we don’t know what the caterpillar is smoking in his hookah.
Dominik Filip: Trpaslíčci-Robinsoni. Obrázky kreslil Mariquita