Monday, 4 March 2013

Brangwyn & Belgium

Following on from my post Blair-Hughes-Stanton-Wood-Engraving and illustration for "The Searchers", I reminded myself that the artist Sir Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) illustrated several books with his dark slightly menacing woodcuts. They probably look darker to the modern eyes than readers of the day as one has to remember that then, the vast majority of book illustration were black and white.

The book in question is "Belgium by Frank Brangwyn ARA, Hon Member of La Societe Royale Des Beaux Arts De Bruxelles, Cavaliere of The Order of The Crown of Italy, Etc, Etc..." (His words, not mine) This volume was published in 1916 and illustrated with 52 woodcuts and drawings.

There is something slightly apocalyptic about this opening illustration, as if god is about to wipe away Bruxelles from the surface of the earth. No wonder the edition was limited to just 160 copies.

For a book that is often referred to as "rare", there are quite a few for sale on ABE Books. Prices from £14.00 up to £340.00 and all dating to 1916 and all apparently 1st Editions.

 This last illustration reminds me of Monet's studies of trees, in fact it is a bit of a standard composition. Here are a few more .............

Auguste Lepere


Margaret Hebe Waite (1907-1986)

Y Urushibara (1888-1953)
probably after a Brangwyn design.

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