Sunday, 4 March 2012

Myth: in illustration

So, as I've mentioned a few times in various blog posts, my major project is on the subject of "Myth". I have had the idea to do some sort of project about British myths and legends since the summer when my dad brought a big hardback book down from the loft: Reader's Digest Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain. It's a great book, although I have by no means looked in detail at all of it - it's over 500 pages!

About six different illustrators feature in the book, and from Googling their names I have sadly discovered that all but one of them are dead. The book was published in 1973, y'see. Although the book lists the illustrators it does not say which is which, so I had some investigating to do in order to find a particular one I was interested in.

I think the illustrator I am after is Eric Fraser. I've managed to find a couple of blog posts on him featuring illustrations, although not the ones in the book. So firstly, here are some of my favourites from the book (scanned in):

The following are simply quick phone photographs. There is also a possibility that these illustrations could be that of George Tute who actually has illustrations that feature in the book on his website. (But not the ones I am looking for!) His illustrations are also wood engravings, which is what I assume these are, but his style is a little more realistic that the two illustrations above which are quite graphic. So I don't really know!

This one is certainly questionable. Most likely not Eric Fraser?
But these have the large eyes and bold lines.

And here are some definite works of Eric Fraser, featured in this great blog post on Sci-Fi-O-Rama (a blog I have never heard of/come across but looks right up my street!).

That last one is the dragon Smaug from The Hobbit! I may have to find out if Fraser did any other illustrations for Tolkien as I'd love to see those. I posted a blog about Hobbit illustrations just before Christmas.

If anyone happens to come across this blog post and knows for certain is Eric Fraser did or didn't do the illustrations I have selected from the book, then please don't hesitate to let me know!

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