Illustrations Art Gallery

Arthur Rackham – Illustrations for Tales of Mystery & Imagination 1935

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Arthur Rackham (1867 – 1939) was an English book illustrator.

Arthur Rackham is widely regarded as one of the leading illustrators from the ‘Golden Age’ of British book illustration which encompassed the years from 1900 until the start of the First World War. During that period, there was a strong market for high quality illustrated books which typically were given as Christmas gifts.

Many of Rackham’s books were produced in a deluxe limited edition, often vellum bound and sometimes signed, as well as a larger, less ornately bound quarto ‘trade’ edition. This was often followed by a more modestly presented octavo edition in subsequent years for particularly popular books. He was one of the most prolific and most loved illustrator of children’s book. Many of his work are still in print today.

Arthur Rackham is perhaps the most well-known Golden Age book illustrator. Famous for his detailed and dreamy fairy tales and children’s book illustrations. But in this latest addition to our gallery, it is anything but a children’s book. In the late period of his career, Rackham has taken the path that very few illustrators have traveled before, the illustration of the dark and gloomy Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Alan Poe. As you can see, his illustrations are less detailed and delicate than many of his early illustrations, but nonetheless exquisite in its execution and presentation of the tales.

You can also see and compare Edgar Alan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination with the illustrations of the same tales done by Harry Clarke. Although Clarke’s work, in my opinion is far superior and the is best illustrated book done for Poe’s Tales. Rackham’s illustrations has a certain whimsical and almost comedic quality to lighten up the dark side of the stories, the mice’s view of the pendulum, a bit of fun and all entertainment.

Tales of Mystery & Imagination (often rendered as Tales of Mystery and Imagination) is a popular title for posthumous compilations of writings by American author, essayist and poet Edgar Allan Poe and was the first complete collection of his works specifically restricting itself to his suspenseful and related tales.

Other Arthur Rackham’s illustrated works available in our gallery: Rip Van Winkle, Book of Pictures, The Night Before Christmas, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Midsummer’s Night Dream, Undine, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan in Kensington Garden, The Ingoldsby Legends, Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Art Gallery: Arthur Rackham – Tales of Mystery & Imagination 1935

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