An American in Japan: Helen Hyde

Japanese woodblock prints, ukiyo-e, especially fascinated Western audiences. Their crisp colors and unique compositions felt effortless (though holy hell, they were not) and many artists, including the Impressionists and poster-artists of the late nineteenth century, were inspired by elements and incorporated them in their own art. However, some artists went further... and farther.

Spring-Heeled Jack and Periodical Art

In the 19th century, famed artists like George Cruikshank, Kate Greenaway, and W. Heath Robinson rendered tragic moments of gruesome murders, miracles, or monotonous news for periodicals. Even Queen Victoria once had a drawing published in The Strand Magazine. You might have come across them in history books and thought of them as simply recording history.

But they had wide-ranging effects that still influence us, like in the case of Spring-heeled Jack.

Sybil Tawse: A Forgotten Golden Age Illustrator

Medea by Sybil Tawse

Today, I wanted to look at Sybil Tawse. One, she had a fabulous name. Two, I just found her while looking at some Talos stuff - yeah the big bronze guy. Her work is very much in the style of Heath Robinson and Edmund Dulac. And even though she doesn't have their clout today, she was… Continue reading Sybil Tawse: A Forgotten Golden Age Illustrator

Pre-Raphaelites and The Eve of St. Agnes

Madeline after Prayer, Daniel Maclise, 1868

Have you heard of the Eve of St. Agnes? I hadn't before I read the Keats poem. It's filled with exquisite detail. So no wonder it's inspired so many artists. I also didn't know it helped spur the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Here's a brief history of St. Agnes. She's a saint in the Catholic tradition since… Continue reading Pre-Raphaelites and The Eve of St. Agnes

Salome: Biblical Girls Will be Biblical Girls

Salome, Ella Ferris Pell, 1890

After identifying Judith you might ask, okay so how do you know if it's Salome? It's a little easier. But unlike Judith Salome is a pawn. But from famous paintings, you might not think so. This is a bit of a defence of Salome. Yes, she probably shouldn't be asking for the heads of holy people, but let us look at the source text before coming to conclusions.