Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The More Sophistocated works of Dulac
When looking at the main players in Golden Age illustration, there are a number of different schools to look at. The Brandywine is a school all unto itself. There are illustrators of the same era, like Charles Dana Gibson and Howard Chandler Christy, who created imagery of the day, not the fanciful stuff I tend to look at here. The European group, was a whole different entity. When looking at children's book work, fairy tales, and gift books, the British publishers really had a firm hold on the best illustrators at the turn of the century. Leading that charge was Arthur Rackham. If there was any other persona that might even approach him, it was Edmund Dulac.
Last post I put forth a selection of images from one of Dulac's earliest books—a self-written project at that—which had some great characters, beautifully simple compositions, and brilliant palettes, but lacked the sophistication his later works would obtain. Here I will show you some of that range, from a few of my favorite Dulac books.
Bells is an image I found on a greeting card back in 1979. Even as a teen I found that image riveting. I filed it away, only to come across it decades later, in an AMAZING book of Poe's poetry, that contains dozens of beautiful color plates by Dulac. When the book was handed to me, it sparked the notion that a book of images inspired by Poe might be possible...It was the first book I was able to do on a number of themes.
From the same book is the image from the poem Eldorado— I wanted to use this image on the cover, it was turned down because the publisher wanted a scene that had more recognition as a famous Poe tale....
Dulac loved to do work with Eastern influence. Later in his career, his style actually resembled that of Asian print works and paintings. He did many versions of The Arabian Nights, and stories that originated there. These are two of my favorite plates. Notice the smile on her face as she boils the thief alive... many wouldn't even notice his writhing hand...
In all his fairy tale work, this piece from Andersen's "The Wind's Tale" really catches me. The space, the soft color, and the way he has actually managed to draw the wind. How cool is that?
I've kept you all waiting a while. Tomorrow there will be a small Seasonal gift from V I E W to you—I have a mini-poster for my new book on H. J. Ford's work. It was designed to print 11x17. Let me know if the post works, I may be able to do more in the future.
Ring out those Solstice Bells!!