Creative Inspiration: Arthur Rackham

Arthur Rackham, fairytale, illustration, artist, writer, art, knight, Oberon, Titania

When I think of quintessential English fairytale illustrators, I think of Warwick Goble because when I was little, my sister and I owned a copy of The Faerie Book by Dinah Craik, illustrated by Warwick Goble, and I could not stop poring over the beautiful pictures. But I think when everyone else thinks quintessential English fairytale illustrators, the first name that usually comes to mind is Arthur Rackham. Warwick Goble always comes first for me, but Arthur Rackham is a close second.

I feel that Rackham manages to capture in his art the wild, dark nature of English faerie magic – that feeling that, should you be walking down an old country road in the middle of the night and hear strange pipes playing, that you will be in another moment or two whisked away to Faerie Land and never heard of again. For me, I think, this must be what author Susanna Clarke had in mind when she wrote Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – the tales of English faeries and English woods and English magic, beautiful and unpredictable and laced with a slight sense of otherworldly menace. I also feel the the scene of couples dancing in Lost-Hope would be quite similar to Rackham’s The Dance in Cupid Alley (the last image at the bottom of this series)! And have you seen Rackham’s self-portraits? One cannot help feeling he has the look of one who will one day be spirited away by the faeries himself.

Arthur Rackham, fairytale, illustration, artist, writer, art, fairies

Arthur Rackham, fairytale, illustration, artist, writer, art,, undine

Arthur Rackham, fairytale, illustration, artist, writer, art,, tree

Arthur Rackham, fairytale, illustration, artist, writer, art,, rumpelstilskin

Arthur Rackham, fairytale, illustration, artist, writer, art, rumpelstilskin

Arthur Rackham, fairytale, illustration, artist, writer, art, knight

Arthur Rackham, fairytale, illustration, artist, writer, art,, forest

Arthur Rackham, fairytale, illustration, artist, writer, art, dance, cupid's alley

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