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The Age of Enchantment: Beardsley, Dulac and their Contemporaries [Paperback]

By Rodney Engen & Iana. C. Dejardin (Foreward By)
Our Price $ 38.25  
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Item Number 310339  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 9.5" Height: 10.75"
Weight:   2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 25, 2007
Publisher   Scala Publishers
ISBN  1857595238  
EAN  9781857595239  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Beginning with the fin de siecle masterpieces of Beardsley, and concluding with the late imperial exotica of the inter-war era, The Age of Enchantment reveals the fascinating and delightful world of British fantasy illustration over four decades, featuring many unseen works from private collections. It is published to accompany the exhibition on the subject that opens at Dulwich Picture Gallery in November 2007, the first such exhibition in Britain and the first worldwide for 28 years.

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1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > General   [12493  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design > Commercial > Illustration   [326  similar products]

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leading late Victorian-early modern British book illustrators  Mar 25, 2008
Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielsen, and Edmund Dulac were the leading illustrators of the Age of Enchantment covered. They were known as late-Victorian/early modern-era illustrators of children's books. Their popularity remains high among book and art collectors. Today, books illustrated by them, especially limited editions often signed by them, can bring thousands of dollars at auction. When original art by one of them appears for auction, prices can rival those for other artists known mostly for their paintings. Willie Pogany, Charles Robinson, Annie French, and Frank Brangwyn are other popular, similar artists of the period; though not at the level of top group. Engen, author of over 20 books on British illustration and curator of illustration exhibitions, also brings in the Demold brothers Charles and Edward for their fantasy-like illustrations mostly of animals and natural settings. The Glasgow School is also included for its ornate, fantasized style.

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) was the aesthetic and stylistic progenitor of the art of this age of enchantment. Though his career lasted only six years, the daring of his themes--often a mix of exoticism and sexuality--and the elaborateness along with the detail of his style opened up new possibilities for artists in Victorian England. Linked with the controversial Oscar Wilde who saw in Beardley's illustrations the ideal visual representation of his own ideas about a flamboyant freedom in art, decadism, and playful or provocative treatment of unspoken subjects of the contemporary public, Beardsley's acceptance was limited in his lifetime. Beardley's example, nonetheless, with its extravagant lines, ornamental natural imagery, theatrical poses, and suggestion of mystery, magic, and the exotic inspired the following generation of leading illustrators.

Nielsen, Rackham, and the others of this generation were drawn to children's books for the imagination going naturally with these. Unlike Beardsley, they were not aiming at provocation; nor at portraying ideas and virtues of decadism. Like children's book illustrators of all eras, they were interested in entertainment and their own popularity. The waning of the didacticism and overt moral instruction of Victorianism in the early decades of modernism also allowed Nielsen, Rackham, and company new freedoms in portrayal, tone, and suggestion.

The illustrators' work was never meant only for children, however; even though it is found mostly in children's books of the period. For its consummate skill, imagination, color, and evocation of magic and sensuality, the art was and is popular with persons of all ages. Its influence continues, Engen notes. The influence can be seen in both The Lord of the Rings books and the movies; and seen in Walt Disney films and design of parts of the Disney parks, particularly Fantasyland. Though covering only a few decades and the top artists of enchantment, Engen's book gives a visually engrossing view on an enduring, evolving vein of modern popular art.

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