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Illustrators - Livres du Mois

For September's Livres du Mois I have made a collection of books on some of the illustrators that I have previously written about on the Compendium, now all together in one place. We begin with my favourite illustrator, J. C. Leyendecker.


J. C. Leyendecker


Laurence & Judy Cutler

"One of the most prolific and successful artists of the Golden Age of American Illustration, J. C. Leyendecker captivated audiences throughout the first half of the 20th century. Leyendecker is best known for his creation of the archetype of the fashionable American male with his advertisements for Arrow Collar. These images sold to an eager public the idea of a glamorous lifestyle, the bedrock upon which modern advertising was built.

He also was the creator of instantly recognisable icons, such as the New Year’s baby and Santa Claus, that are to this day an integral part of the lexicon of Americana and was commissioned to paint more Saturday Evening Post covers than any other artist. Leyendecker lived for most of his adult life with Charles Beach, the Arrow Collar Man, on whom the stylish men in his artwork were modeled. The first book about the artist in more than 30 years, J. C. Leyendecker features his masterworks, rare paintings, studies, and other artwork, including the 322 covers he did for the Post. With a revealing text that delves into both his artistic evolution and personal life, J. C. Leyendecker restores this iconic image maker’s rightful position in the pantheon of great American artists."



The Art & Life of Felix Kelly

Donald Bassett

"The career of Auckland-born Felix Kelly ('Fix' to his friends), is a fascinating story of artistic and social transformation - one of the most unusual amongst New Zealand expatriates.

From graphic designer to Surrealist and Neo-romantic; from Lilliput cartoonist to stage designer for John Gielgud; from painter of architecture to re-vamper of Highgrove for the Prince of Wales, Kelly carefully nurtured his new identity. Like so many 20th century gay men, Kelly had to leave New Zealand to survive; but increasingly unrecognisable 'memories' of his home country continued to appear for over thirty years after his 1935 departure, intersecting with architectural fantasies on British and American themes. Felix Kelly was much more than the society painter he at first glance seems to be."



Henry Patrick Raleigh:

The Confident Illustrator

"Henry Patrick Raleigh (1880-1944) was an American illustrator whose drawings of society life defined the Gatsby era. He rose from school dropout at age 12 to esteemed Saturday Evening Post illustrator within the span of two decades. During his nearly forty-year career, Raleigh served as one of the highest paid newspaper and magazine artists in the United States, the lithographer behind many of the United States' government's iconic World War I propaganda posters, and arguably the most prominent story illustrator of the Jazz Age.

Raleigh was an incredibly prolific artist, having published 20,000 illustrations by the time he was 43. As a commercial artist working in the field of advertising, very few individuals published as many of their illustrations or earned as much income as Henry Patrick Raleigh. In addition to The Saturday Evening Post, Raleigh's illustrations graced the pages of the era's definitive publications, including Harper's Bazaar, Collier's, and Vanity Fair. They also visually embodied the words of H.G. Wells, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Agatha Christie.

This volume is lavishly illustrated with rarely seen photographs and illustrations taken from the private collection of the artist's grandson, Christopher Raleigh. Almost every illustration in the book was scanned from the original, in order to attain an extremely high-quality level of reproduction."


The Art of Arthur Rackham:

Celebrating 150 Years

of the Great British Artist

"This book, The Art of Arthur Rackham, celebrates 150 years of one of the best and most loved artists in British history. Over his long and illustrious career, he contributed to an extensive number of books, magazines and periodicals, resulting in a vast array of original artworks.

In this book, Pook Press brings together 150 of the best of Rackham’s stunning illustrations, sourced from rare and original books. These incredible images cover Rackham's career from his landmark 1905 edition of Rip Van Winkle to classic books such as Undine, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Grimm's Fairy Tales and his final publication, The Wind in the Willows. The book also contains a biography of Rackham's personal, professional and artistic life."


Born to Be Posthumous:

The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey

"From The Gashlycrumb Tinies to The Doubtful Guest, Edward Gorey's wickedly funny and deliciously sinister little books have influenced our culture in innumerable ways, from the works of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman to Lemony Snicket. Some even call him the Grandfather of Goth.

But who was this man, who lived with over twenty thousand books and six cats, who roomed with Frank O'Hara at Harvard, and was known – in the late 1940s, no less – to traipse around in full-length fur coats, clanking bracelets, and an Edwardian beard? An eccentric, a gregarious recluse, an enigmatic auteur of whimsically morbid masterpieces, yes – but who was the real Edward Gorey behind the Oscar Wildean pose?

He published over a hundred books and illustrated works by Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Edward Lear, John Updike, Charles Dickens, Hilaire Belloc, Muriel Spark, Bram Stoker, Gilbert & Sullivan, and others. At the same time, he was a deeply complicated and conflicted individual, a man whose art reflected his obsessions with the disquieting and the darkly hilarious.

Based on newly uncovered correspondence and interviews with personalities as diverse as John Ashbery, Donald Hall, Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, and Anna Sui, Born to be Posthumous draws back the curtain on the eccentric genius and mysterious life of Edward Gorey."


The Mabinogion

Illustrated by

Alan Lee

Illustrated by Alan Lee and translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. A major illustrated edition of the classic fantasy with over 50 full-colour paintings by the celebrated artist

The Mabinogion are the earliest Welsh prose stories, and belong to the Matter of Britain. The stories were compiled in Middle Welsh in the 12th–13th centuries from earlier oral traditions.

Alan Lee is an English book illustrator and film conceptual designer. He is best known for his artwork inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novels, and for his work on the conceptual design of Peter Jackson's film adaptations of Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film series.


An Edmund Dulac Treasury:

116 Colour Illustrations

"A comprehensive look at a prominent artist from the Golden Age of Illustration, this volume features brilliant color plates of Edmund Dulac's images from books published between 1908 and 1928. Featured titles include Shakespeare's The Tempest, The Arabian Nights, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, and the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen."


Drawings and Illustrations



"This original retrospective showcases black-and-white images by a leader of the Decadent movement whose name is often linked with those of Aubrey Beardsley and Harry Clarke and who influenced Edward Gorey. Shadowy, sinuous illustrations include characters from stories by Oscar Wilde and Flaubert and scenes from La Tosca and The Magic Flute."


I hope you have found something of interest amongst these illustrators but if not, you may find something more to your taste in the Compendium's Library.


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