The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty

Hardback Calla Editions

Illustrated by Arthur Rackham

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  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
  • Format: Hardback | 112 pages
  • Dimensions: 180mm x 256mm x 18mm | 600g
  • Publication date: 31 May 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1606600419
  • ISBN 13: 9781606600412
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations (some col.)
  • Sales rank: 501,467

Product description

The timeless tale of the spellbound princess takes on a delightful dimension in this hardcover keepsake edition. Arthur Rackham, the leading figure of the Golden Age of Illustration, envisions a fantasy world in the form of crisp black-and-white silhouettes. Six full- and three-color plates include an image featured only in the original edition's limited run of 625 signed copies.

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Author information

Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) is a titan among children's book illustrators. His influence, talent and greatness cannot be overstated. But this man who created such exquisite picture books, who painted ethereal fairies, gnarled dwarves, romantic princesses and windswept trees had a rather staid life. Indeed, many a frustrated biographer has searched for a link between Arthur Rackham and the notorious 18th century pirate John "Calico Jack" Rackham, hoping to explain the gap between the man and his work, but thus far it isn't a certainty. Arthur Rackham was born to a middle class family, was early on a clerk and started drawing for newspapers. He moved on to the burgeoning book illustration market, and by 1906 was a leader of children's book illustration's Golden Age. Rackham produced - along with Kay Nielsen, Edmund Dulac, Willy Pogany and others, lavish large format books for children with tissue guards, mounted pictures, gilt-embossed covers and - most importantly - exquisitely rendered illustrations. At the height of the Golden Age Rackham was in the enviable position of dictating to his publishers what he wanted to illustrate, and in this period some of his most beautiful books were made, including "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens" (1906) "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland "(1907"), A Midsummer-Night's Dream "(1908"), Undine "(1909) and" Mother Goose "(1913). One biographer described Rackham as "a neat alert person, tidy, energetic, punctual." He was by all accounts a loyal husband and father, and a disciplined artist who avoided the pitfalls that others in his occupation are all too prone to. Rackham seemed to put his Id in his work, and what work it is. The undulating expressiveness of his lines is unmistakably Rackham-esque (and often copied). His color palette is restrained, some might argue too restrained, but where a less talented artist might distract us with brightness, Rackham the master seduces with moderation. His illustrations are alive with movement. Some are sensual, others sweet, some are terrifying. Rackham was a very versatile illustrator, lending his talents to authors as diverse as Shakespeare, Richard Wagner, Poe, Milton, J.M. Barrie, Hawthorne, Dickens, Christina Rossetti and Oliver Goldsmith, among many others. At the very end of this life, ill with the cancer that would end it, he was asked to illustrate Kenneth Grahame's "Wind in the Willows," a commission he had rejected some thirty years earlier. Rackham had always regretted that decision, especially as Grahame had died a few years earlier in 1932. But he went ahead, though he could work only 30 minutes per day, and "Wind in the Willows" was another Rackham treasure, his last. Charles Seddon Evans (1883-1944) was educated at East London College and began his career as a schoolmaster before joining the publishing house of Edward Arnold as Educational Editor in 1909. He moved to the firm of Heinemann in 1913, where he spent the rest of his working life, becoming Chairman and Managing Director in 1932. He wrote this version of "The Sleeping Beauty" as a companion volume to "Cinderella," also illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Review quote

"There is a renewed confidence, a delicacy of vision in these pictures, which is surprising and refreshing for those familiar with the sophisticated color palette for which Rackham was famed at the time. Not, of course, that Rackham was in any sense new to the use of silhouettes, but [Sleeping Beauty] is the first from his pen to depend entirely upon this interesting and difficult technique. His simple forms are often inventive, imaginative, amusing and tell their stories well. But it is in the more sophisticated silhouettes, in which he combines texture and reversals .... that Rackham's ingenuity is fully expressed. Fred Getting, "Arthur Rackham, "1975