Illustration - Summer - 2022 - Issue 72

News and Reviews

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

Satoshi Kitamura

Kitamura is one of the world’s best known illustrators of books for children. His intricate illustrations  in brilliant colour – by turns chaotic and fantastical, dynamic and surreally humorous – are hugely entertaining for every audience. Kitamura’s time in England was an especially productive time for him, and we get an opportunity to analyse some of the books he created for British publishers. Jim O’Brien explains.

Ana Juan

Ana Juan is one of the world’s most famous illustrators. Her dream-like and sometimes nightmarish images engage with many difficult and challenging themes. Ana generously shares some of her fascinating insights into her creative process, focusing on her work for two classic Gothic tales in English – Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Henry James’s The Turn of the  Screw. Published in Spanish and less readily available in Britain, her menacing designs are presented for our fearful scrutiny. 

Siegfried Kaden

Another lesser-known artist for UK audiences is Kaden, a German designer of another sort of difficult material. Kaden was influenced by the distortions of German Expressionism and designed some disconcerting illustrations. His interpretation of Thomas Mann’s gloomy novel, Der kleine Herr Friedemann, is both shocking and amusing. We take a close look at this experimental work and how it links with its literary source. Wilfried Onzea helps us to understand.

Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen

Active in France at the end of the nineteenth century, Steinlen was a contemporary of many important cultural figures, among them Toulous-Lautrec. His focus, though, was on the humble rather than the privileged, using his art to critique social conditions for the poor and focusing especially on the straitened lives of women. Another French artist with a higher reputation in France than in England, Steinlen is a fascinating illustrator. Brian McAvera analyses this hard-hitting designer. 

Illustrating Jekyll and Hyde

Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was not illustrated when it was published in the late Victorian period, but in the years after 1900 it was the subject of rich visual interpretation. The questions were simple: how should Hyde be represented? And how might an artist depict his transformation? Looking at a variety of imaginative responses by illustrators both familiar and relatively unknown we find some of the answers to those inquiries. The Editor shares his enthusiasm.

John Leighton

Ed King explores the work of a designer of Victorian book covers who produced illustrative motifs and patterns to embellish the front boards and spines of luxurious gift books and books for children. Drawing on a range of examples, Ed shows us some of these ingenious designs, which vary between the grand and heraldic and the humorous.


In the last issue Bethan Stevens presented an introduction to the Dalziel Brothers and their archive in the British Museum. This article is a review of Beth’s scholarly monograph, The Wood Engravers’ Self Portrait  – The Dalziel Archive and Victorian Illustration. Paul Goldman provides a judicious evaluation.


Key Collections The places where you can learn about illustration are many and varied, in libraries, in collections, on academic programmes and on-line. Two experts, Dr Graham Hogg and Professor Julia Thomas, explain the qualities and potential of the work in their care. 

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 forthcoming exhibitions you can’t afford to miss.


Dr Jim O’Brien read History of Art at University College London and completed his Ph.D at the University of Sussex. Alongside working in primary education, he writes on 20th century film, illustration and popular culture. 

Ana Juan is a prolific illustrator, painter and designer of book covers. The recipient of international prizes and distinctions, she has illustrated books for children and adults. Although much of her work has appeared in Spanish-speaking countries, she has also produced covers for The New Yorker. 

Wilfried Onzea is a book collector and former librarian at the Antwerp City Library. He was a founding member of the Flemish bibliophile society, Literarte, and taught the history of the private press movement at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp. He is the author of several books and articles on books and bibliography. 

Brian McAvera is a playwright, art critic, curator and, occasionally, an art historian. His best-known plays include 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 Simon Cooke is a widely published specialist in the book arts. He is the author of The Moxon Tennyson(2021), Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s(2010) and numerous chapters, articles and essays on Victorian and contemporary illustration, He is a Senior Editor at work on the Victorian Web and the editor of Illustration. He is unashamedly an obsessive collector, and possesses a large library of nineteenth century literary and illustrated texts. 

Edmund M. B. King, M.B.E., worked at the British Library 1975 to 2012. He was Newspaper Librarian at the Library from 1999-2012. His work Victorian Decorated Trade Bindings 1830-1880 was published in 2003. His articles on the cover  designs of John Leighton and of William Harry Rogers have been appeared on the Victorian Web and in other scholarly publications. 

Professor Paul Goldman is a scholar of nineteenth century illustration and the author of numerous articles, chapters and books, including Victorian Illustration(2004, 2010). Formerly an Assistant Keeper in the Department of Prints and Drawings, the British Museum, he is Honorary Professor in the Department of English, Cardiff University. 

Dr Graham Hogg is curator of 19th-century printed collections and photography at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. He has curated exhibitions on John James Audubon in Edinburgh and 500 years of Scottish printing. He has main responsibility for collection development of rare books and acquires new items to add to the Library’s collections. 

Julia Thomas is Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University and is most interested in Victorian visual and material culture, word and image studies, and digital humanities. She has published widely in the field of art, literature and illustration, including several monographs, and is the project director of DMVI(Database of Mid-Victorian Illustration).