Will Bradley’s Fringilla


Title spread.

Like Marcus Behmer, another Beardsley follower from the Internet Archive, Will Bradley‘s work has been featured here before and should be familiar to anyone interested in illustrators of the 1890s. As well as being one of the great American illustrators, Bradley was also a very accomplished and successful practitioner of what we now call graphic design, and you see some of his design sensibility at work in these pages which illustrate RD Blackmore’s “tales in verse”, Fringilla (1895). The page borders are in the William Morris style which Beardsley imitated for Le Morte Darthur; Aubrey dropped this kind of heavy decoration when he moved to other books but Bradley made the borders his own for a while, using them in unlikely places such as adverts for that new-fangled transport device, the bicycle.


Pausias and Glycera.

The Internet Archive also has A Booklet of Designs by Bradley, a collection of motifs and very cartoony advertising illustrations from 1914. As art it’s a lot less worthwhile than Frangilla but for anyone interested in early design methods it’s worth a look for the insight it offers into how things were done in the days of scissors and paste.



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Previously on { feuilleton }
Bradley does Beardsley