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Arthur Rackham ( 1867 - 1939 )  Category ( Painters ) [suggest a correction]
 

Siegfried awakens BrunnhildeArthur Rackham was a late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century English artist, best remembered for his ethereal, detailed paintings, many of which featured images and themes from European fairy tales. He also is famous for illustrating Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Rackham was born to a family of the middling classes. There were twelve children in the family, and all were raised in London. When Rackham was eighteen he accepted a clerk's position at the Westminster Fire Office.

Rackham's artistic bent was recognized at an early age. As a child he studied at the City of London School, where he won a number of prizes for his art. Also at this time he began study at the Lambeth School of Art. Within two years he was hired as a reporter and illustrator for The Westminster Budget. In 1893, his illustrations were first published in book format as part of The Dolly Dialogues, by Anthony Hope, who would later write The Prisoner of Zenda. He went on to have a highly successful career as a book illustrator, providing his work to editions of Rip van Winkle, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, and Edgar Allen Poe's Tales of Mystery & Imagination. All of these publications printed both color and monotone versions of Rackham's images. At this point his style had developed some of its finer qualities, including romance and a gentle humor. He is regarded by many today as the finest illustrator of the early twentieth-century period.

Rackham married Edyth Starkie in 1903. The couple had one child, Barbara. By 1906 his work had received such renown that he was awarded a gold medal at the Milan International Exhibition. He received another medal in honor of his work at the Barcelona International Exposition in 1911. Rackham exhibited regularly throughout his career, including some memorable and prestigious exhibitions, such as the one at the Louvre in 1914. He retained his joy and sense of wonderment which were hallmarks of the period in which he lived. His illustrations often remind viewers of a sensibility and lifestyle that were long ago abandoned.

He died of cancer at his home in 1939. His last work, for The Wind in the Willows, was published after his death. According to critic Sara Briggs, "In imagination, draftsmanship and colour-blending, his work stands alone. His deep understanding of the spirit of myth, fable, and folklore affords him a transcendent range of expression." An Arthur Rackham Society was founded in 1984 to encourage the enjoyment and preservation of Rackham's art, as well as encourage book collecting, book illustration, and high quality in the production of children's books.

Image: Rackham's "Siegfried awakens Brunnhilde" Illustration to Richard Wagner's "The Ring."


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www.bpib.com/illustrat/rackham.htm#rackhamtop [Comment on this link]
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Title :Arthur Rackham And His Art
Description : An illustrated biography of Arthur Rackham, England's most celebrated children's book artist. One of 101 biographical pages for illustrators and artists.
 
 
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http://www.oxforddnb.com/index/101035645 [Comment on this link]
 
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http://gerdesdesign.com/fairies.htm [Comment on this link]
 
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http://www.angelfire.com/ar/ArthurRackhamSociety/ [Comment on this link]
 
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http://rackham.artpassions.net/ [Comment on this link]
 
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