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This blog has been retired. I won't respond to any inquiries but have retained it in case it is still of interest to anyone passing by.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gerry Embleton

Gerry Embleton - The Dandelion Fairies
(See also  Wonderful Weddings and  Perfect Princesses  for additional examples of Gerry Embleton's work)
 Gerry Embleton (1941 - ) is the younger brother of my favourite artist Ron Embleton who has already been included in some of my previous blog entries. Gerry was born in England but has lived in Switzerland since the 1980's.  I'm not going to fall into the trap of comparing the two brothers. As these illustrations show Gerry is also a wonderful children's illustrator and captures the essence of the fairytale genre perfectly.

Like all the other artists already showcased in this blog Gerry Embleton is not renowned only as a storybook illustrator.  Nowadays he is probably better known as an illustrator of military and historical subjects, working largely with the military publisher Osprey.

The illustration above and the two following are amongst his most well known and are taken from a story called 'The Dandelion Fairies'.

Of all the stories illustrated by Gerry Embleton my favourite is 'Gizelle of the Woods', a variation of the Cinderella story (without the wicked stepmother and ugly sisters.)

Gerry Embleton - Gizelle of the Woods
 Gizelle is a poor girl who lives with the animals of the forest.  A great ball is to be held at the palace and all the young maidens in the kingdom are invited to attend. Gizelle longs to go to the ball but does not have a ballgown so the forest creatures weave one for her out of mosses, leaves and flower petals.  Gizelle rides to the ball on a unicorn and is noticed immediately by the prince who is entranced by her beauty.

The prince will dance with no one else. In answer to his question of where she comes from all Gizelle will answer is 'the place where the wild orchids grow.'  As the evening progresses the lights and heat of the ballroom cause the petals and leaves of Gizelle's gown to wither and die.  With the dress disintegrating around her Gizelle flees from the ball and rides swiftly back to the forest glade on the back of the unicorn. Only a spray of white orchids remain fresh and alive and this is all the prince has left to remember her by.

The prince is determined to make Gizelle his bride and as she lives 'in the place where the wild orchids grow' he sets out to find them.  Deep in the forest he finally becomes aware of the beautiful scent of orchids and in the glade where they grow he finds not only the flowers, but the girl he seeks hiding behind a tree.  The unicorn carries them back to the palace where in true fairytale tradition they live happily ever after.

Illustrations from 'Beauty & the Beast and Other Stories', adapted by Barbara Hayes, illustrated by Ronald and Gerry Embleton
St Stephen's Green, Dublin - March 2011

The swans in St Stephens Green are so photogenic all I need to do is point a camera at them and I end up with a selection of lovely photographs.  These are three of my latest photos, taken last week as Spring slowly makes its arrival.  As usual I took them on my way to work while walking through the park. 

Today is St Patrick's Day.  I'm including a map that was in one of our newspapers yesterday of the route of the Dublin parade.  One of the reasons I've done so it is because it shows where some of the places are that I have included in this blog - St Stephen's Green and St Patrick's Cathedral have already featured and at some point I will be including photos of Trinity College and Christchurch Cathedral.

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