- Full Description
The first detailed account of the work of this very important Pre-Raphaelite artist between 1855 and 1913. His two often-reprinted classics are George Macdonald's classic At the Back of the North Wind and The Princess and the Goblin. His wonderful artwork for Christina Rossetti's Sing-Song and Speaking Likenesses were notable for their witty accompaniment to her poetry and prose, matching the curiosity of texts created to amuse (or terrify) Victorian and Edwardian children.
The book is fully and profusely illustrated in black and white and includes an eight page color section. Unlike most of his Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries, Hughes revelled in book and magazine story illustration, and he did far more work than any other PRB aritst. Drawn by him and then engraved onto wood--since this was long before photographic reproduction--these have a wonderful feel and period flavor.
In the 1920s and 1930s, British artists like Hughes-Stanton, Agnes Parker and Eric Gill actually sought to recapture this style, and Hughes was always an artist that these later creators looked to for inspiration. He also has much in common with the earlier master Walter Crane, and you can see Crane's design elements which first appeared in Hughes twenty years before Crane became a household name in children's artists.
At the Back of the North Wind is certainly Hughes' masterpiece, offering angels and fantasy that had a realism and appeal never before achieved in Victorian artwork. For that reason, the first edition of this is very highly collectible, and very expensive, and the book has been reprinted for almost every generation of children since then.
In case you haven't figured it out by now, I've been a big fan of Hughes for many years. I collect the original books that I mentioned above, although I can't afford a first edition of At the Back of the North Wind. But I have an early edition, as well asthewonderful Christina Rossetti books he did, and several others. They are each little gems of Victorian illustrated books.
Hughes also did work in the wonderful Dalziel Brothers gift books, such as One Thousand and One Gems of English Poetry. But further fantasy illustrations include Macdonald's Phantastes, Life and Phantasy, Mother Goose, Liliput Legends, Enoch Arden, and Boy's and Girl's Book of Enchantment. Hughes always stands out as one of the best artists of the time.
The illustrations in this new book are superbly reproduced, and there are plenty of them, making this a wonderful introduction to his work, or a reminder of how much he could do with a wood engraved illustration. -Bud
Appendices include a checklist of the books and periodicals, with a supporting bibliography and extensive notes. In all an invaluable account of the illustrative work of a Pre-Raphaelite artist so long undervalued by collectors.
Dr. Maroussia Oakley has been enthused by the illustrative work of Arthur Hughes for many years, and has already written a number of articles about his work. She has
published transcriptions of letters by his publisher Alexander Strahan, and also written on John Everett Millais, print technology, and the Dalziel Archive in the British Museum.
- Additional Information
Item Code BOOPIH Publisher Oak Knoll Press Publish Date 2016 ISBN 9781584563488 Binding Hard Cover Dimensions 8x11 # Pages 326pg Color Partial Color
Customer Reviews 1 item(s)
- Highly Recommended
Here is a book that is truly not for everyone. I am fascinated by the history of illustration—comics certainly grew out of that history, and some of our favorite artists were inspired by the likes of Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth. Well, you can continue to go further back in time and discover the very earliest days of fantasy artwork. In this case, we go back to the first days of the Pre-Raphaelite artists and examine the one member of the brotherhood who specialized in book and magazine illustration, rather than the more conventional exhibition paintings.
Arthur Hughes, if known at all, is most closely associated with the works of George Macdonald, whose most famous books included At the Back of the North Wind and The Princess and the Goblin. These were full-blown fantasy novels, and Hughes was the illustrator of choice. He also was very close to Christina Rossetti, the sister of artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Although he missed out on illustrating her most famous work, "Goblin Market", he did illustrate another fantasy book and several magazine pieces of hers.
Hughes had an amazingly long career, beginning in the late 1850s, creating illustrations that were engraved on wood to be printed in the early publications. And at the end of his career, he was working directly for modern photo-offset reproduction, his last book from 1915. He worked through an entire period of incredible change in the world of book and magazine publishing.
The author has indeed approached this excellent history from the view of those works that he created, using them to tell of the changing times from the mid-Victorian era all the way to the end of the Edwardian era when World War I was the final blow to an age. This book is wonderfully illustrated, fully footnoted, and obviously a work of great love and labor.
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