Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snow Queen Week: Edmund Dulac

My first taste of illustrations for the Snow Queen were those by Edmund Dulac. I'm sharing three in this post, but there are seven in total by Dulac for the fairy tale, all of which are available on SurLaLune at Dulac's Snow Queen.

I've been looking at these for so many years now that I notice Dulac's influence on other illustrators of the tale, most often in composition, which I think is a compliment to the master Dulac was. I don't consider his Snow Queen overall his best work, but one of my favorite images is the one at the top of the page of Gerda and the Reindeer. This image receives a lot of traffic and was requested for SurLaLune's Snow Queen shop on CafePress years ago. It is also popular this time of year since so many want illustrations of reindeer. Tomorrow I will share Honor Appleton's image of Gerda and the Reindeer, another popular image.

What interests me most about Dulac's illustrations is that Kay is nowhere to be seen in the paintings. His portrayals center around the Snow Queen and Gerda and the supporting characters. Where is Kay? Why no Kay? Oh well, some questions can't be answered.

Finally, Dulac's books are long out of print, of course, and very costly collectables. However, many of his illustrations are available in Dulac's Fairy Tale Illustrations in Full Color compiled by Jeff A. Menges. Only five of the Snow Queen illustrations are included in the collection.

Better yet, you can choose a recent reprint of the original, published by Calla Editions: Stories from Hans Christian Andersen illustrated by Edmund Dulac. It was printed just over a year ago and also includes The Nightingale, The Real Princess, The Garden of Paradise, The Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes and The Wind's Tale. The edition is a facsimile of the original edition and quite lovely, imitating the tipped in type of plates (although they aren't tipped in). The colors aren't as vibrant as the original plates, but they are more than satisfactory and it's lovely to have the book at a reasonable price. (My allergies also prefer the new paper.)

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree. Dulac's illustrations are beautiful. He is one of the many inspirations I use when I work as a freelance illustrator.