Henry Keen’s illustrated Webster


More gorgeous work from elusive British illustrator Henry Keen (1871–1935). These are some of the ink drawings Keen provided for a 1930 edition of John Webster’s Jacobean tragedies The Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil. In addition to eleven full-page illustrations there are decorative embellishments, and as usual it’s a shame there isn’t anywhere with a complete set of the artwork. I’m tempted to track down some of Keen’s books myself, this one seems especially good. That crowned skull is not only worthy of Carlos Schwabe, it makes me wonder why Webster wasn’t given more attention from earlier artists. Probably because the plays were too strong for 19th century tastes, violent revenge drama wasn’t what anyone wanted on stage at the time. Swinburne admired Webster’s work but then Swinburne wasn’t exactly a typical Victorian.

Thanks to ~Wunderkammer~ for the tip!





Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Henry Keen’s Dorian Gray

3 thoughts on “Henry Keen’s illustrated Webster”

  1. Was wondering where you got your information about Henry Keen , where would I see the collection of his duchess of Malfi or White Devil prints….. I seem to have bought one of his drawings at a car boot yesterday ! Can I send you a photo? I am very excited!!!!

  2. Hi Sharon. Much of the information about obscure artists I find by scouring websites. I’m more of an enthusiast than an expert so I don’t really possess the authority to give appraisals. The Chris Beetles Gallery may be a better place to ask.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from { feuilleton }

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading