Rackham silhouettes


Another recent work-related discovery, this edition of the tale of Sleeping Beauty was published in 1920. The text is by CS Evans, and the book is illustrated throughout by Arthur Rackham who forgoes his usual ink-and-wash style in favour of silhouettes. Many of Rackham’s other books employ silhouettes, usually as vignettes at the ends of chapters, but this is the first book I’ve seen of his where the technique is applied to the book as a whole. The effect is stunning, with careful application of colour, and some very clever use of negative space. The combination of silhouettes with a fairy tale immediately brings to mind the animated films of Lotte Reiniger so it’s no surprise to find Rackham’s book being cited as an influence on both Reiniger and Fritz Lang. Browse the rest of the pages here or download the book here.




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