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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.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Fairy's Kiss

This exquisitely illustrated single page story appeared in the School Friend Annual of 1975.  The book originally belonged to my sister (she is almost 5 years younger than me) but I have always loved this story and the annual is now part of my 'vintage' collection.

I always think it is such a pity that publications such as this one never acknowledged the contributing artists.  Even a list of their names at the back would have been a great help.  I could make a stab at trying to identify the artist of this lovely work based on other books I have from the same period, but anything I suggest would at best be an educated guess.  If anyone knows who the artist is for sure I would really appreciate it if you left me a comment.


I love everything about these illustrations - the rich colours, fairytale quality, beautifully drawn features and sense of movement.  The picture above brings on my paper doll making itch.  The two below remind me of a storyboard for an animated film.  The whole feel of these pictures would lend themselves to one beautifully.  

Another clear influence that I can see (and I think it is deliberately done) is the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.  The calendar contained in the manuscript is something I have always revered as one of the truly great collections of art - not just during the Medieval period but in all time.  The panel below left in particular always reminds me of the planting and harvest scenes such as the one for September on the right.

Très Riches Heures - September

This story always makes me think of a book I am hoping to find even though I am not completely sure what I am looking for.  When I was very young a friend of my mother's had a book I coveted greatly of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  The illustrations had the same fairytale feel about them.  Other than that I'm assuming it was published in the 60's I know nothing else about the book - just a tantalising memory of something I remember being very special.  The wonder of the web has brought back some precious and often completely forgotten memories for me - such as the Carlotta Edwards prints I featured last week.  My hope is that one day the book I am looking for will turn up just as unexpectedly.

School Friend Annual 1975

In keeping with the slightly medieval theme - I took this photograph of Dublin Castle from my office window a few weeks ago. There was this wonderful stormy sky and a shaft of silvery grey light lit up the tower and brought out the detail.

Dublin Castle - View from my Office Window

Dublin Castle


Anonymous said...

Please tell me that this means you will be posting entire stories like this more often! With a lot of your previous posts, I was always curious about the illustrations for the fairy tale pictures, since we don't always know what is going on for the more obscure stories.

This is my first time posting, but I love your blog.

Sharon Souter said...

Thanks so much for leaving this comment - I was thrilled to get it, especially if you have been visiting for a while. You have given me food for thought here. If there are any stories from old posts that you would really like to see let me know which ones they are and I'll try to post them for you if they are in comic strip style.

Barbara said...

These are so pretty! I don’t know who the illustrator is but the style is very like the illustrations in Dick Whittington published by Ladybird in 1966. Those illustrations were by Evelyn Bowmar – she always drew men with ‘long shapely legs’ much like in your pictures. If you visit the wee web there is a picture of the front cover of Dick Whittington She also did a lovely version of the sleeping beauty
The other illustrator I though of was Molly B Thomson but I'm not sure.

Kylie said...

The illustrations of the cloaked lady and babe in the woods are very atmospheric Sharon. I also really like the cover. I wanted to be that girl.

Dusting the cobwebs off that Carlotta Edwards print and posting it this week x

Joleene Naylor said...

Those are beautiful! The style does look familiar, but I couldn't say for sure, either.

and I LOVE the photos - can't imagine seeing a castle from my office window! How neat is that?

Sharon Souter said...

Thanks for the links Barbara - I had a look at both. They are lovely. I can see the similarity too but I still think this is a different artist. Not sure why I feel I should know who its is but there is something so familiar about this work.

Kylie you are such a sweetheart! I can't believe you have a spare copy of that print! I'm going to have to see what I can find in Dublin to reciprocate!

Thanks for all the great comments today Joleene. The castle is a very unique view. Problem is its a bit too tempting to gaze out the window all day instead of concentrating on work!

Donna Yates said...

What lovely pictures! And look at that view you get when at work.

I love fairy stories. This one looked like it was a fun, sweet tale.


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