December and Vernon Hill


Who was Vernon Hill? A good question since he’s another of those illustrators about whom detailed information is in short supply. He was born in Halifax, England, which makes him a Yorkshireman, and this page gives his birth date as 1887. A biographical note here states that:

Hill was primarily a wood-carver, most of whose illustrative work was done in the years 1910–12. His major achievements here were his designs for Ballads Weird and Wonderful and The New Inferno, both of which were collections of verse, the literary form most suitable for symbolic illustration. An important influence on him was Blake; it is seen in his often symmetrical compositions, the differences of scale of his figures, and their physique (which also show Hill’s feeling for sculpture).

Hill’s curious depiction of the year’s end comes from a set of equally curious lithograph illustrations for John Lane, The Arcadian Calendar (1910), produced in a style which resembles a hybrid of Sidney Sime and other post-Beardsley artists. This seems to have been atypical, unfortunately, subsequent book work shows more fully his Blake influence. The Demon Lover is one of the better illustrations from Ballads Weird and Wonderful (1912) which can be downloaded at the Internet Archive.


The Demon Lover.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Sidney Sime and Lord Dunsany
Harry Clarke’s The Year’s at the Spring

3 thoughts on “December and Vernon Hill”

  1. gosh, those are both a wee bit sexy…
    the entire Fin de siècle thing leaves me feeling i was born a century too late (or perhaps too early)

  2. Back in the 80s I used to have a beautiful, rather mystical poster which I have been trying to find again ever since. This post has me convinced that Hill was the artist. Any other sources of his work?

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