RACKHAM, Arthur

(1867 - 1939)
"He created a new kind of reality ... he created a fairy world in the imagination of thousands and perhaps millions of people"

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Born and raised in London, Arthur Rackham began his career selling drawings to newspapers and periodicals. He quickly established himself as an illustrator of boy’s adventure stories, for which he produced fairly uninspiring black and white drawings. In 1905 William Heinemann commissioned him to provide 51 watercolours to illustrated Rip Van Winkle. The book, aimed at the Christmas gift market, was produced in a sumptuous format and its launch coincided with a selling exhibition of the watercolours at the Leicester Galleries.  Reviews and sales were exceptional and a new era of book illustration had begun. Arthur Rackham's career moved onto a totally different plane and over the following decades he worked at an astounding rate, producing his distinctive illustrations to books ranging from fairy tales to Shakespeare plays; from children's novels, such as Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland to the works of Dickens, Ibsen and Goldsmith. Rackham was a celebrated artist, whose work was much in demand. His earnings far exceeded those of his contemporaries and he had a shrewd eye for ways to maximise his income, for example selling sketches and embellishing books with humorous vignettes. His work is known for its extensive use of humour; his fantastical elfin creatures; the haunting anthropomorphic trees; dainty, ethereal fairies and his caricatured self portraits.

Read our blog about the Fairies and Elves of Rackham


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 Arthur RACKHAM

Books by this author

The Ingoldsby Legends

RACKHAM, Arthur

£650.00

Rip Van Winkle

RACKHAM, Arthur

£750.00

A Midsummer Night's Dream

RACKHAM, Arthur

£1,500.00

Arthur Rackham's Book of Pictures

RACKHAM, Arthur

£950.00

The Rhinegold and the Valkyrie With Siegfried and the Twilight of the Gods

RACKHAM, Arthur

£1,500.00

Rip Van Winkle

RACKHAM, Arthur

£750.00

Hawthorne's Wonderbook

RACKHAM, Arthur

£750.00

A Midsummer Night's Dream

RACKHAM, Arthur

£300.00