Saturday, August 16, 2008

dulac and rackham's bedtime stories

dulac, the princess and the pea, 1911

today i was reading roq la rue owner kristen anderson's blog right some good and read a post she wrote about a beautiful painting by thai artist deang buasan. she mentioned that she found the painting while browsing dalihouse art blog, which posted a very interesting article about the paintings stylistic similarities to early 20th century illustrator edmund dulac. i wouldn't have known the name if she hadn't said that she often confuses his work for that of illustrator arthur rackham, who is our framer braxton's favorite illustrator. we have a print from braxton's personal collection of rackham's hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle hanging in the front window of the gallery. i was immediately drawn to the princess and the pea image from dulac's body of work, it has a beautiful, hazy almost batiked quality to the paint, and i love that the color palette manages to be saturated and jewel-like without being flashy. i've always enjoyed my conversations with braxton about rackham and his peers because i have been a collector of children's books for years. 

arthur rackham, hey diddle, diddle, 1913

when i was young i was a voracious reader. the first book i learned to read was william joyce's a day at wilbur robinson's and i still take it out every year or so and corner some unsuspecting friend for a few bedtime stories. my parents bought me dozens of gorgeously illustrated children's books when i was young, and when i got older and started getting really into art (and couldn't afford the full color plate tomes that i would pour over in the back rooms of bookstores for hours) i realized that my wall of picture books was an impressive, nostalgic art library. i now have several illustrators who's works i collect, and my mother picks out a new title for me every year at christmas and my birthday. two years ago it was life doesn't frighten me, a poem by maya angelou along side works by jean-michel basquiat. i loved it so much that i got a copy for miah, my former partner's four year old son (the cuddliest, most empathetic tot of all time). unfortunately miah isn't a basquiat fan (yet) and did some serious editing (aka tearing) of most of the pages. 

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