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


 

John Yunge-Bateman’s King Lear

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When Majesty turns to folly!

John Yunge-Bateman (1897–1971), aka “Yunge”, is another British illustrator whose work I’d not noticed until now, possibly because this 1930 edition of King Lear is an early creation in a derivative style the artist abandoned. The ten black-and-white drawings are closer to Harry Clarke than Aubrey Beardsley, and a couple of them even try to match Clarke’s more grotesque inventions albeit with variable results. Some of the faces are rather dopey for my taste but I like the use of solid blacks. These samples are taken from a scarce copy currently up for auction at silver-gryph’s eBay pages should anyone be interested. (Thanks again to Nick for the tip!)

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Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, go to the creating a whole tribe of fops.

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If you come slack of former services you shall do well.

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Oh Lear, Lear, Lear! Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in, and thy dear judgement out!

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If only to warm were gorgeous, why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wearest, which scarcely keeps thee warm.

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Pr’ythee, nuncle, be contented; ’tis a naughty night to swim in.

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Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once.

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This kiss, if it dare speak, would stretch thy spirits up into the air.

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But I am bound on a wheel of fire.

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Howl, howl, howl, howl.

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Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators}, {theatre}.

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2 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Márcio Salerno

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    Gratly influenced by Aubrey Beardsley, I’d say…

  2. #2 posted by Doug Campbell

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    I think Yunge-Bateman was also responsible for the marvellous folk-horror cover design and illustrations to Christopher Woodforde’s A Pad in the Straw, a collection of naive and wonky (but nonetheless chilling) supernatural tales in the Jamesian style.

 


 

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