Monday, May 11, 2009

My Favorite Fairy Tale Artist

Henry Justice Ford is my favorite fairy tale artist, yes, even above Rackham, Dulac, and the others. Rather than fairies, he illustrated fairy tales, and was extremely prolific—with a variety of subjects, but mostly princesses. He has been criticized as stiff and formal, but I think that his work was most appropriate for the tales of the time.


Mr. Door Tree said...

Interesting that HJ Fordis your favorite artist of the fairy tales...I've admired his work for decades and I have five or six of Andrew Lang's 12 colored fairy tale books that Ford illustrated. I haven't looked at his work in a very long time and it's great seeing the images you posted...hope to see more down the line!

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

I would love to see any decorative book bindings you might have of the Lang books or similar. I am in amazement of your collection Mr. Door Tree.

Doruk said...

I am surprised, but I am inclined to agree... Ford seems to have an appealing elegance, especially with his ladies, that seems to be lacking in Rackham. Although maybe that was also why he was criticized of being formal?

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

I rather surprised myself by this choice of favorite. It was when I was reviewing my scans to choose for a post that I was struck by the quality that Ford puts forth. Many times his art has been reproduced poorly, with corrupted lines and faded color. Rackham produced for the gift book market, which had lavish production values. Ford's work with Lang and others many times suffered from publisher's neglect.

All the fairy tale guys from that era were great, but I think Ford really paid attention to the stories he was illustrating. I've got a whole bunch more that I will post really soon and then I'll post some of the other fairy tale stuff from even lesser known illustrators.