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


 

Walter Crane’s Picture Books

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Beauty and the Beast.

British artist and designer Walter Crane never illustrated a Perrault collection but he did illustrate individual editions of Perrault’s more well-known tales. These illustrations are from collections published in 1911 of the small books of nursery rhymes, alphabets and stories for children that Crane produced in the 1870s. The clear-line drawings are unusual for their avoidance of the decor one usually sees with these stories; Crane admired the work of the Pre-Raphaelites but the settings are a lot less medieval than some of his other books, the architecture and costumes owing more to the Empire style.

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The Frog Prince.

Crane wrote several design books, including a very good one about the history of book design. His drawings for children may be simple but they’re all very precise and often contain significant details; many of the larger compositions draw the eye into the background with views through doors or windows, or into remote vistas. Crane also adapted each story into verse, and even manages to represent an act of metamorphosis in a single picture for the moment when the Frog Prince turns human. Elsewhere some of the pages are almost comic-like in their arrangement of multiple panels and text.

The samples here are taken from three different collections:

Beauty and the Beast / The Frog Prince / The Hind in the Wood
Cinderella / Puss in Boots / Valentine and Orson
The Sleeping Beauty / The Baby’s Own Alphabet / Bluebeard

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The Hind in the Wood.

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Cinderella.

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Puss in Boots.

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Valentine and Orson.

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The Sleeping Beauty.

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The Baby’s Own Alphabet.

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Bluebeard.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Gustave Doré’s Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault
William Heath Robinson’s Old-Time Stories
Edmund Dulac’s Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales
Harry Clarke’s Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault
John Austen’s Tales of Passed Times

 


 

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}.

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2 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by The joey Zone

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  2. #2 posted by John

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    That link redirects to the index page for some reason.

    One of my favourite Crane designs is his peacock wallpaper for William Morris:

    http://diglit.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/pan1896_97_2/0187/image?sid=7bcc366e9a295e07bfd94802383707d5#current_page

    Probably a bit much when papered over a whole wall but I like the interwoven birds and foliage.

 


 

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