Illustration - Spring - 2022 - Issue 71

News and Reviews

A round-up of current news, events and exhibitions, along with brief reviews of some beautiful new illustrated books – both scholarly and humorous.

Georgie McAusland and Goblin Market

Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market (1862), with its weird portrayal of temptation, has long been the subject of illustration, and it has recently been republished by Batsford (2021) with colour designs by the British artist, Georgie McAusland. Dr Catherine Golden takes a detailed look at how a new illustrator brings fresh perspectives, helping us to read an old text through the lens of modern ideas.

The Illustrator’s Interview: David Lupton

I’ve always been fascinated by the processes of illustration – how the artist responded to his or her text, what elements they wanted to draw out, and how they went about applying their style to a literary text. David Lupton gives us a generous and revealing account of how he approaches his commissions, and how he uses his visual language to interpret and represent the imaginative worlds of his authors.

Jenny Portlock
Another account of an illustrator’s work is given by Jenny Portlock, who explains her early career and how she eventually became a self-taught engraver of wood. Jenny takes us into her world of image-making, and we get an opportunity to see the hard graft that goes into making poetic and sometimes amusing designs. 

Alfred Leete
Though the creator of some famous images, Alfred Leete, who was born in the nineteenth century and lived until the 30s, is far from a household name. Dr Mark Bryant rescues his reputation in some original research and traces Leete’s development in a time of transition and change.

A Favourite Book
The Editor, Simon Cooke, talks about one of his favourite books, Norah James’s Cottage Angles, with illustrations by Gwen Raverat. He will be exploring some aspects of this wood-engraver’s art and inviting readers to contribute pieces on their own special books – old and new, black and white or colour.

Andre Gill
Continuing in a comic vein we’ll also be looking at another lesser-known artist, at least in Britain. Andre Gill was a famous cartoonist and satirist in mid and late nineteenth century France, creating droll caricatures of politicians and contemporary figures – a corrective for the age. Brian McAvera presents this unfamiliar, but very interesting, artist whose commentaries still have currency today.

The Dalziel Brothers helped to revolutionize Victorian illustration by contributing to the development of wood-engraving, which allowed the cheap printing of designs by the Pre-Raphaelites and other great illustrators. Dr Beth Stevens, whose book on the subject will be reviewed in a later issue, introduces the engravers’ work.

In previous issues of Illustration we’ve looked at the work of recent graduates in illustration from a number of universities. As part of that series we’re also going to explore the perceptions of students who are currently taking the first steps in their chosen career, with some examples of their work.


Look and Learn

What are the key events? And where can you go to learn about illustration – both real and on-line. This section includes some pointers along with details of some forthcoming exhibitions you can’t afford to miss.

David Lupton
is a British illustrator with a love of all things strange and macabre. Working from his garden based studio in South East London, his work is hand crafted and evokes a strong sense of atmosphere and narrative. David recently illustrated A Wizard of Earthsea, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed or the Folio Society and is well-known for his expressive and challenging images. 

Jenny Portlock worked as a designer for the publishers such as Longman’s and Purnell and is now a well-established illustrator specializing in wood-engravings. She is an elected member of the Society of Wood Engravers and has exhibited her work in UK, USA, China, Italy and France. Inspired by Italian and Japanese artists, she has just completed illustrations for a special edition of the story of Lohengrin the Swan Knight, which is being published by the Tudor Black Press. 

Dr Catherine J. Golden is professor of English and the Tisch Chair in Arts and Letter (2017–22) at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York. She is the author of several books, among them Serials to Graphic Novels: The Evolution of the Victorian Illustrated Bookand Images of the Woman Reader in Victorian British and American Fiction. She is also the co-editor of a number of books and the author of articles ranging from Charlotte Perkins Gilman to Victorian illustration, literature and culture. 

Dr Mark Bryant was an editor in literary and academic book publishing before he became a writer, journalist, lecturer and curator. He has written for The Independent, History Today, Military History Monthly and other publications. His books include The Dictionary of 20th Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists, and he has contributed articles to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He is a former trustee of the Cartoon Museum. 

Brian McAverais a playwright, art critic, curator and, occasionally, an art historian. His best-known plays are the cycle Picasso’s Women, which have been translated for productions into over 20 languages. His most recent book is a critical study of the Irish artist, Graham Gingles (“Graham Gingles Boxed In”, Cyphers, Secrecy And Sensuality, F.E. McWilliam Gallery, 2022). Brian is an avid collector of French nineteenth century illustrated books. 

Dr Beth Stevens is a Senior Lecturer in English and Art Writing at Sussex University, UK. She is the author of books on Blake, the Pre-Raphaelites and British illustration, as well as numerous articles. Her recent work on the Dalziel Brothers, the Victorian wood engravers, has provided important new research in this field, and will be reviewed by Paul Goldman in the next issue of Illustration.