Arthur Rackham the Fairy's illustrator!

Travelling is a journey through your dreams.


(The meeting of Oberon and Titania, A midsummer night dream - W. Shakespeare. Illustration by Arthur Rackham - public domain image)

[Segue testo in Lingua Italiana]

Arthur Rackham (London, 1867 – 1939) was an English book illustrator in the late 19th and early 20th century. He is recognised as one of the leading literary figures during the Golden Age of British book illustration. His work is noted for its robust pen and ink drawings, which were combined with the use of watercolour. Rackham's 51 colour pieces for the Early American tale became a turning point in the production of books since – through colour-separated printing – it featured the accurate reproduction of colour artwork. Rackham created some of the most magical illustrations, that has given shape to a world of dreams and fairy tales, providing the audience with an invaluable opportunity to escape everyday life and reality.






At the age of 16 he left school because of his poor health and undertook a trip to Australia with some family friends: during the long sea crossing, he spent his time almost exclusively drawing and returned to London full of studies , sketches and sketches. At 18, he was then allowed to start studying at the Lambeth School of Art while working as a shop assistant, he enrolled in evening classes, and soon found his passion and calling. He kept his job from 1885 to 1892, when - after a year of working as a freelancer - he left the post and became a journalist and illustrator for the Westminster Budget. The first of Rackham's illustrations to be published in a book were in 1893, in The Dolly Dialogues. Rackham never looked back. From that first publication, illustration was his career until the day he died at age 72, of cancer.

His first book of illustrations was published in 1893: he remained in business as an illustrator until his death in 1939, gaining extraordinary popularity. He illustrated not only storybooks and works for children, including the storytelling collection by the brothers Grimm (1900), Rip van Winkle (1905), Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906) and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ( 1907), but also works for adults such as A Midsummer Night's Dream (1908), Undine (1909), The Rhinegold and the Valkyrie (1911) and the short stories by Edgar Allan Poe.

Whether illustrating whimsical books for children or darker matter for adults, Rackham's imaginative, brilliant illustration style was highly sought after and enhanced any text it accompanied. In 1903 he married the painter Edyth Starkie, from whom in 1908 he had a daughter, Barbara. He won a gold medal at the international exhibition in Milan in 1906 and another at the Barcelona exhibition in 1911. He exhibited in numerous exhibitions, the most famous of which took place at the Louvre in 1914. Rackham died in 1939, and now, more than 70 years after his death, his work is collectible and beloved. Children and adults alike take pleasure in the unique, beautiful art he provided for some of the world's greatest stories.


(Alice in Wonderland by Arthur Rackham - public domain image)