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

Archive for the ‘Harry Clarke’ tag


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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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 »


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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Copying Clarke


“On to the brocken the witches are flocking.” From Faust (1925) by Harry Clarke. Spotted earlier this week, a rather blatant swipe from Harry Clarke’s Faust by an unknown cover artist for the Avon Fantasy Reader. Such borrowings weren’t uncommon in the pulp magazines—the pressure of deadlines no doubt encouraged them—and I’ve logged a couple […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {pulp} | 2 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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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 »


Harry Clarke’s Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault


After posting John Austen’s Perrault illustrations I intended to follow-up with other versions but work has been non-stop lately so it’s taken most of this month to do so. Harry Clarke’s edition of Perrault was published in 1922, and while it’s not exactly unfamiliar its one of his illustrated editions that gets overshadowed by the […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 245


First English-language edition of Hard to Be a God, 1973. Cover design by Alan Peckolick. A group of scientists is sent to the planet Arkanar to help the local civilization, which is in the Medieval phase of its own history, to find the right path to progress. Their task is a difficult one: they cannot interfere […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {fashion}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction} | 2 comments »


John Austen’s Little Ape


British illustrator John Austen (1886–1948) illustrated many classic works of fiction throughout the 1920s, one of which, Hamlet, was recently reprinted by Dover Publications. His other work isn’t so easy to find, however, and I’d not seen Little Ape and Other Stories (1921) until Nick H drew my attention to a copy for sale at […]

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RS Sherriffs’ Tamburlaine the Great


I would have posted this by now if it hadn’t been for the recent unpleasantness. Robert Stewart Sherriffs (1906-60) was a Scottish artist who I confess I hadn’t come across before until Nick H (thanks, Nick!) drew my attention to this book at silver-gryph’s eBay pages. Sherriffs’ illustrated edtion of The Life and Death of […]

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


Weekend links 184


Gevatter Tod (Godfather Death, 1905) by Heinrich Lefler. Via Beautiful Century. An inevitable hangover from Halloween this week. At 50 Watts: A Modern Dance of Death (c. 1894) by Joseph Sattler, Harry Clarke Revisited, and more Ex Libris Mr Reaper | At Design Observer: Keith Eggener on When Buildings Kill: Sentient Houses in Fiction and […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {occult}, {science}, {work} | Comments Off


John Austen’s Hamlet


The 1922 edition of Hamlet “decorated” by British artist John Austen (1886–1948) is a lot more visible today than it was a few years ago, thanks to a reprint by Dover Publications in their Calla Editions series. The scans here are from an original printing at VTS. Austen’s Hamlet is often rated as his chef […]

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




This was a surprise. My first thought on seeing the cover for Ethel Archer’s “book of verse”, The Whirlpool, was that its swirling waters were borrowed from Harry Clarke’s typically astonishing illustration for A Descent into the Maelström by Edgar Allan Poe. The problem there is that the Ethel Archer book was published in 1911 […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators}, {occult} | 4 comments »


Harry Clarke in colour


Older illustrated books often suffer at the hands of owners or a certain breed of iniquitous antique dealer who razor out their colour plates in order to frame them as prints. The Internet Archive has two copies of The Year’s at the Spring; An Anthology of Recent Poetry (1920) edited by Lettice D’Oyly Walters, and illustrated […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators} | 2 comments »


More from the Decadent Dutch


Illustration by Otto Verhagen from Yolanda – Het Boek van Bloei (1931) by Nan Copijn. Would-be Decadents is perhaps a better label, the Decadent ship having set sail across an absinthe-tinted sea by the time these artists were putting pen to paper. Their drawings are another set of scarce images forwarded by Sander Bink who […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 7 comments »


Recovering Viriconium


Detail from Assassination in the Night (c. 1600?) by Monsù Desiderio. Yesterday’s post looked at some of the past cover designs for M. John Harrison’s Viriconium books. This post makes a few suggestions for how they might be presented in the future. Since these are mostly covers that I’d like to see they’re not necessarily […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {collage}, {design}, {fantasy}, {painting}, {photography}, {surrealism}, {work} | 27 comments »


The Tinderbox


HJ Ford (1894). “Do you see that great tree!” quoth the witch; and she pointed to a tree which stood beside them. “It’s quite hollow inside. You must climb to the top, and then you’ll see a hole, through which you can let yourself down and get deep into the tree. I’ll tie a rope […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators}, {television} | 6 comments »


Vathek illustrated


Frontispiece, 1815. Engraved by Isaac Taylor after a drawing by Isaac Taylor Jr. After some time Vathek and Nouronihar perceived a gleam brightening through the drapery, and entered a vast tabernacle carpeted with the skins of leopards; an infinity of elders with streaming beards, and Afrits in complete armour, had prostrated themselves before the ascent […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 5 comments »


Harry Clarke and the Elixir of Life


A little something for the season of strong drink. Harry Clarke’s books command high prices in their original editions yet two of the costliest items in the Clarke bibliography are a pair of promotional booklets the artist illustrated for Jameson & Son’s Irish Whiskey: A History of a Great House in 1924, and Elixir of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators} | 3 comments »



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