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

Archive for the {black and white} category


The Monstrous


One of the books I was working on over the summer is officially published this week. The Monstrous is a horror anthology edited by Ellen Datlow, and the third Datlow collection that I’ve designed for Tachyon Publications after Lovecraft’s Monsters (2014) and Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror (2010). My work on this new collection […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {horror}, {work} | 5 comments »


Excuse My Beauty


With perfect timing, considering the illustrational direction of the week, David Siferd was in touch to pass on these drawings by Jesse James Johnson for Goddess, David’s unisex streetwear label. The drawings provide the decorative elements of a new collection, Excuse My Beauty, which will be launched later this week. David referred to Harry Clarke […]

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The art of Alan Odle, 1888–1948


The Malicious Satyr. Following yesterday’s post, a little more about British illustrator Alan Odle. A cursory search between work sessions today yielded a variety of Odle drawings but not the illustrated edition of Candide I was hoping for. The examples here are all taken from Pinterest, and I believe the ones towards the end are […]

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Harry Clarke and others in The Studio


The Swing by Alan Odle. The University of Heidelberg has for some time now had several years of British art magazine The Studio in its archive but I’ve yet to delve fully into the later issues. These illustrations are from two articles from the volumes covering the year 1925, both of which feature the exceptional […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | 4 comments »


Célio’s Les Amis du Crime


More porn. The Internet Archive has, until recently, been a somewhat chaste place where illustrations of sexual encounters are concerned. That’s mostly a result of their books being scans of works from libraries that wouldn’t have stocked illustrated editions of De Sade and company. Les Amis du Crime, together with yesterday’s volume, is part of […]

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Invisible Cities: Miscellanea


Cover art: The Castle in the Pyrenees (1961) by René Magritte. A final post for this week devoted to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and it occurs to me that “Miscellanea” could easily be the name of one of Marco Polo’s cities. One thing that’s become apparent over the past few days is that this subject […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {fantasy}, {painting} | Comments Off


Lichtspiel Schwarz-Weiss-Grau, a film by László Moholy-Nagy


A beguiling short from 1930 made by the Hungarian artist to demonstrate the patterns of light and shade created by his Light-Space Modulator (aka Light Prop for an Electric Stage, 1922–1930), an early kinetic sculpture. The film could have worked well enough as a series of documentary shots but Moholy-Nagy compounds the effects with superimposition, […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {art}, {black and white}, {film}, {sculpture} | Comments Off


After Beardsley by Ryan Cho


One of the posts last week concerned a swipe from Harry Clarke by an unknown illustrator. This Beardsley pastiche came to my attention shortly after the Clarke discovery, not a swipe but a deliberate exercise by American illustrator Ryan Cho in adopting the Beardsley style. It took some effort to trace the origin of Cho’s […]

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The Duc de Joyeux


I was writing about the Vorticists last week so for the traditional Bloomsday post here’s a portrait of Joyce by Wyndham Lewis. The Vorticists were supporters of Joyce (he’s praised in the first issue of Blast), and Lewis produced several portrait sketches. This one—The Duc de Joyeux Sings—is the only example I’ve seen in something […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books} | 2 comments »


A Book of Satyrs by Austin Osman Spare


The Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word “satire” is Formerly often confused or associated with satyr, from the common notion (found already in some ancient grammarians) that Latin ‘satira’ was derived from the Greek ‘satyr’, in allusion to the chorus of satyrs which gave its name to the Greek ‘satyric’ drama. The word derives […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books} | 3 comments »


René Gockinga revisited


Presenting another guest post by Sander Bink concerning drawings by Dutch artists from the early decades of the 20th century, several of which show a distinct Beardsley influence. There’s also more than a little Harry Clarke in some of the details, especially the large Salomé picture below. Sander examines the provenance. * * * In […]

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The Reflected Faun


Another one to add to the stock of fauns, satyrs and Pan figures that proliferate from the 1890s to the 1920s, Laurence Housman’s The Reflected Faun appeared in The Yellow Book in 1894. The magazine’s publisher, John Lane, also published Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan in the same year although an early version of […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | 3 comments »


The art of Edmond van Offel, 1871–1959


Edmond van Offel was a Belgian artist who Philippe Jullian features in two of his books about Symbolist art but whose work I’d not seen anywhere else—at least until now. All the pictures here are from a collection published in Paris in 1902 which may be the one Jullian used for his selections. The book […]

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Odilon Redon’s Temptations


Saint-Antoine: Au secours, mon Dieu! (Saint Anthony: Help me, O my God!) St. Anthony and his temptations provide another connection between the Surrealists and the Symbolists via Gustave Flaubert and his phantasmagoric drama. Flaubert’s The Temptation of St Anthony (1874) doesn’t quite stand in relation to the art of the time as does Oscar Wilde’s […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {fantasy}, {religion}, {symbolists} | 2 comments »


Aubrey Beardsley’s Keynotes


Promotional poster. Keynotes was a series of 34 novels and short story collections published by John Lane from 1893. Aubrey Beardsley produced cover designs and embellishments for 22 of the titles in 1895 while he was working on The Yellow Book which John Lane was also publishing. Beardsley’s designs comprised a title frame with illustration […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {horror} | 2 comments »


Lucian’s True History


Lucian is Lucian of Samosata whose True History (also known as A True Story) is often regarded as one of the earliest works of science fiction. The book is a satirical work, but unlike many earthbound satires this one concerns a journey into outer space, encounters with the inhabitants of various planets, and descriptions of […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »


More Esteban Maroto


Psychedelic Kali from Vampirella 18. Copies of the Dracula comics may be scarce these days but two of the artists who appeared in the title—Esteban Maroto and José Beá—were also appearing regularly in Vampirella around the same time. The Internet Archive has a large collection of Warren titles including an almost complete run of Vampirella. […]

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Jo Daemen’s The Sacred Flame


Johanna Maria Hendrika Daemen (1891–1944), credited here as “Jo”, wrote and illustrated The Sacred Flame: The Fairy-Tale of Stefan Pártos (1927), a tribute to a Hungarian violinist who died young. Daemen was a Dutch illustrator, graphic designer and glass artist who one suspects would be better known if she’d been British or American. The detail […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 5 comments »


John Yunge-Bateman’s King Lear


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 […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators}, {theatre} | 2 comments »


William Heath Robinson’s Rabelais


Ending the year with some Heath Robinson illustrations I’d not seen before, probably because their grotesque qualities set them apart from the rest of his whimsical drawings and fairy tale illustrations. Illustrated editions of Rabelais are rare owing to the coarse and scatological nature of the novels. Gustave Doré‘s robust and bloodthirsty character made him […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 2 comments »







“feed your head”