While not everyone is perhaps familiar with his name, Arthur Rackham's artworks and particular style are certainly easily recognizable. He had an extraordinary gift for creating lush, exquisite illustrations of literary characters often consisting mostly of shades of browns and greys, with just a touch of color to accentuate a particular detail, often not even a detail of importance.
Dover carries quite a number of books featuring Arthur Rackham's art, and even more general collections in which his works are included, many of which I own. This particular book consists of 53 full-color plates, plus a small headpiece and tailpiece, all illustrations from fairy tales, some well-known, and others a bit more obscure, at least in America. The first 31 are from various collections of The Brothers Grimm, Nos. 32-40, from The Allies' Fairy Book, Nos. 41-50, from English Fairy Tales, and the last three from Irish Fairy Tales.
Here are just a few examples of Rackham's gorgeous illustrations. For more information about the artist and his works, please see the Arthur Rackham Index Page. You may also Google him, and be amazed at his unbelievable output! I obtained these images from Google rather than taking photos of my own book, which often distorts the image.
The Brothers Grimm
Plate 4: The Old Woman in the Wood
"Suddenly the branches twined round her and turned into two arms."
Plate 16: The Lady and the Lion
"She went away accompanied by the lions."
Plate 28: Rapunzel
"The witch climbed up."
The Allies' Fairy Book
Plate 34: Guleesh
"Now, Guleesh, what good will she be to you when she'll be dumb? It's time for us to go—but you'll remember us, Guleesh!
Plate 36: Cesarino and the Dragon
"So valiantly did they grapple with him that they bore him to the ground and slew him."
English Fairy Tales
Plate 46: Catskin
"She went along, and went along, and went along."
Plate 47: The Three Heads of the Well
"They thanked her and said good-bye, and she went on her journey."
Irish Fairy Tales
Plate 53: The Wooing of Becfola
"She looked with angry woe at the straining and snarling hordes below."
All material on this site copyright © 2017 by Laughing Crow.
This site designed and written by Laughing Crow.