Illustrations Art Gallery

Edmund Dulac – Illustrations for Stories from Arabian Nights 1907

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Edmund Dulac (born Edmond Dulac; 1882 –  1953) was a French-born, British naturalised magazine illustrator, book illustrator and stamp designer.

Dulac was a prolific illustrator and designer. His works include Stories from The Arabian Nights (1907) with 50 colour plates; an edition of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1908) with 40 colour illustrations; The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1909) with 20 colour plates; The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales (1910); Stories from Hans Christian Andersen (1911); The Bells and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe (1912) with 28 colour plates and many monotone illustrations, Princess Badoura (1913) and many others.

One Thousand and One Nights  is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English-language edition (c. 1706–1721), which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights’ Entertainment.

The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central and South Asia, and North Africa. Some tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Indian, Greek, Jewish and Turkish folklore and literature.

What is common throughout all the editions of the Nights is the initial frame story of the ruler Shahryār and his wife Scheherazade and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves. The stories proceed from this original tale; some are framed within other tales, while others are self-contained. Some editions contain only a few hundred nights, while others include 1,001 or more. The bulk of the text is in prose, although verse is occasionally used for songs and riddles and to express heightened emotion. Most of the poems are single couplets or quatrains, although some are longer.

Some of the stories commonly associated with The Nights, in particular “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp”, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor”, were not part of The Nights in its original Arabic versions but were added to the collection by Antoine Galland and other European translators

Presenting the illustrations from the First edition of Arabian Nights published by Hodder & Stoughton, 1906. Illustrations by Edmund Dulac. Together with Kay Nielsen’s illustrations for the Arabian Nights are two of the most beautiful Arabian Nights’ books ever published.

Other books illustrated by Edmund Dulac available in our gallery: Stories from the Arabian NightsLyrics, Pathetic and Humourous from A to Z, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, The Sleeping Beauty, Stories from Hans Andersen, The Bells, and other poems, Princess Badoura, Sindbad the Sailor and other stories, The Kingdom of the Pearl.

Complete list of books illustrated by Edmund Dulac.

Art Gallery: Edmund Dulac – Stories from Arabian Nights 1907

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