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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

William Heath Robinson’s Old-Time Stories

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William Heath Robinson’s illustrated edition of Charles Perrault’s fairy tales, published in 1921, is a more substantial collection than the Dulac edition with eleven stories in all. The translator was AE Johnson who notes that three of the tales—Beauty and the Beast, The Friendly Frog, and Princess Rosette—aren’t from Perrault at all, but Beauty and the Beast by this time was part of the general canon.

Robinson’s illustrations in this particular volume are badly damaged in places but they maintain his high standard in their characterisation and use of space. A couple of the pieces are rather alarming in a book for small children: the giant crushing a village while pursuing the fleeing captives in Little Tom Thumb, and Blue Beard (again) threatening his wife with a cutlass. The imperious Puss-in-Boots is particularly good. Browse the rest of the book here or download it here.

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Edmund Dulac’s Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales

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Edmund Dulac’s illustrated edition of Charles Perrault’s fairy tales was published in 1910, and like John Austen’s version this is another one I hadn’t seen before. The adaptation by Arthur Quiller-Couch drops many of the less familiar stories such as Riquet of the Tuft and The Ridiculous Wishes to leave only Sleeping Beauty, Blue Beard, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast. A century later, three of those stories are now overly familiar thanks to Disney and co. while the wife-murdering antics of Blue Beard render him irredeemable for children’s entertainment.

The most notable thing about Dulac’s typically excellent illustrations is the degree to which he pushes the style and decor to his beloved Middle East. There’s no reason why many of these stories shouldn’t be situated outside Europe when some of them have very distant Middle Eastern origins but this is unusual for Perrault where the tendency is to use settings based on the Europe of the author’s own time. Browse the rest of the book here or download it here.

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Harry Clarke’s Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault

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After posting John Austen’s Perrault illustrations I intended to follow-up with other versions but work has been non-stop lately so it’s taken most of this month to do so. Harry Clarke’s edition of Perrault was published in 1922, and while it’s not exactly unfamiliar its one of his illustrated editions that gets overshadowed by the grotesque masterpieces of Faust and Edgar Allan Poe. This is Clarke employing his most delicate Beardsley-like style, the only hint of anything unwholesome being the animated black pudding that fixes itself to a woman’s nose in The Ridiculous Wishes. Bluebeard, by contrast, seems a delightful fellow despite his unfortunate wife-killing propensities.

I’ve only included the colour plates here but the copy at the Internet Archive contains many full-page black-and-white drawings along with vignettes. The plate showing Cinderella and the Prince has been stolen from their edition so I’ve added a scan from my own copy of the book.

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Album de la décoration

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Plates from a selection of art nouveau-styled prints for the use of artists and craftsmen. There’s more in this incomplete Flickr set; a little searching turns up further examples but the Flickr ones are the highest quality. The Four Seasons were featured here several years ago in a post about illustrator Patten Wilson. The bat-obsessed Robert de Montesquiou would no doubt have approved of the unusual conjunction of a chauve-souris with the favourite fowl of the fin de siècle.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
The Grammar of Ornament revisited
Dekorative Vorbilder
Combinaisons Ornementales
Charles J Strong’s Book of Designs
Styles of Ornament
The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones

 


Cosmic art

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Cosmic Synchromy (1914) by Morgan Russell.

The cosmic in art, and a partial selection at that. Venture too far and you find yourself in a syrupy New Age firmament of pastel galaxies, unicorns and space dolphins. Beware.

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Cosmic Composition (1919) by Paul Klee.

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Cosmic Map (1930) by Bruno Munari.

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Lament Over the Cosmic Egg (1947) by Ernst Fuchs.

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Coulthart Books

    The Haunter of the Dark
    Reverbstorm

 


 

Previously on { feuilleton }

    salammbo1.jpg   magritte.jpg

 


 

{ feuilleton } recommends


Z (aka Bernard Szajner) presents Visions of Dune

 

I Am The Center--Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950-1990

 

Cosmic Machine--A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (1970-1980)

 

Why Do The Heathen Rage? by The Soft Pink Truth

 

School Daze by Patrick Cowley

 

The Art of Gothic by Natasha Scharf

 

Somnium by Steve Moore

 

Strange Attractor Journal Four

 

Clive Hicks-Jenkins

 

A Humument by Tom Phillips

 

Schalcken the Painter

 

Berberian Sound Studio

 

Under the Skin

 

The Stone Tape by Nigel Kneale

 

Beasts by Nigel Kneale

 

A Field In England

 

Nosferatu

 

Enter the Void

 

David Lynch Collection

 

Children of the Stones--The Complete Series

 

BBC Ghost Stories for Christmas (Box Set)

 

The Erotic Films of Peter de Rome

 

L'Ange by Patrick Bokanowski

 

Piotr Kamler--A La Recherche du Temps

 


 




 

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Penda's Fen by David Rudkin