While not everyone may recognize his name, Arthur Rackham's unique style is probably familiar to most people. His gorgeous detailed illustrations of literary and fantasy characters range from grotesque to exquisitely beautiful. They are usually done in an array of subtle greys, browns, and muted greens, with splashes of brilliant reds or other bright colors to highlight often unimportant details, although some of his works are bright and colorful. His output was enormous, including fairy tale illustrations and other various fantasy works, Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland and even some Dickens. Wikipedia supplies a long list of notable works, along with many images, and by Googling his name, one comes up with even more. Dover Publications offers a great many books featuring Rackham's art, and many collections in which his art is included. I own many of them, and they will be showing up on these pages.
Rackham was born in Kent, England, in 1867. Unlike so many British authors, who started out life in a business-type profession, then gravitated to writing, Rackham began his study of art at age 18 at the Lambeth School of Art in London, while working as a clerk at the Westminster Fire Office. In 1892, he began doing illustrations for the Westminster Budget, a British national newspaper. His first big art commision was for Anthony Hope's The Dolly Dialogues.
While other famous artistic Brits often had lives of great struggle and excitement, Rackham, it seems, was quite successful from the start. He even won a gold medal at the Milan International Exhibition in 1906. He married Edyth Starkie, and they had one daughter, Barbara. They moved from London to West Sussex in 1920, then to Surrey in 1929. It is here that Rackham died of cancer in 1939, at age 71.
Here on this page, you will find books I have reviewed containing Rackham's art, and there are more on the way. I urge everyone to explore these fascinating and enchanting works, which are readily available online and in numerous books.