Illustration

The grumpy genius of Raymond Briggs

19 December 2020 9:00 am

No one captures better than Raymond Briggs the ambivalence that many of us feel towards the festive season, says Daisy Dunn

Every page of this astonishingly beautiful ode to the citrus is a treat

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Laura Freeman is transported by J.C. Volkamer’s astonishingly beautiful ode to the citrus

The gentle genius of Mervyn Peake

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Mervyn Peake’s unsettling illustrations reveal a gentle, kindly man with the soul of a pirate, says Daisy Dunn

The gloriously indecent life and art of Aubrey Beardsley

7 March 2020 9:00 am

In seven short years, Aubrey Beardsley mastered the art of outrage. Laura Gascoigne on the gloriously indecent illustrations of a singular genius

John Flaxman is the missing link between superhero movies and Homer

9 November 2019 9:00 am

As you enter the forecourt of the Royal Academy, you see them. A row of artistic titans, carved in stone,…

The beauty of Soviet anti-religious propaganda

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Deep in the guts of Russian library stacks exists what remains — little acknowledged or discussed — of a dead…

Lines of beauty: Nancy Ekholm Burkert’s illustration for James and the Giant Peach

Before Quentin Blake, there was Nancy Ekholm Burkert – Dahl’s forgotten illustrator

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Bunnies were out. Beatrix Potter had the monopoly on rabbits, kittens, ducks and Mrs Tittlemouses. ‘I knew I had to…

‘He strikes me dumb with admiration.’ Van Gogh on Howard Pyle’s pirate illustrations

The facts – and fiction – of piracy

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Avast there, scurvy dogs! For a nation founded on piracy (the privateer Sir Francis Drake swelled the exchequer by raiding…

A new exhibition gives us the real Tolkien – not his awful legacy

7 July 2018 9:00 am

To no one’s surprise, the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition at the Bodleian in Oxford, where J.R.R. spent so much…

Coloured proof from ‘English as She is Spoke’ by Pedro Carolino, 1960, by Edward Bawden

Edward Bawden is deservedly one of Britain’s most popular 20th century artists

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘When I’m on good form,’ Edward Bawden told me, ‘I get to some point in the design and I laugh…

Bear necessities: line block print, 1970, hand coloured by E.H. Shepard

The star of the Winnie-the-Pooh show at V&A is E.H. Shepard

9 December 2017 9:00 am

The thing about Winnie-the-Pooh, 91 years old this year, is that he’s the creature of E.H. Shepard, who drew him,…

Cover illustration for the magazine Garm 1944, by Tove Jansson

A chance to see the Moomins’ creator for the genius she really was: Tove Janssons reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Tove Jansson, according to her niece’s husband, was a squirt in size and could rarely be persuaded to eat, preferring…

The works by Quentin Blake are from the Neonatal Unit at Angers Maternity Hospital, France (2012).

Quentin Blake brings comfort and joy

9 April 2016 9:00 am

His professional achievements aside, Quentin Blake’s life has been rather short on biographical event, so this book is not a…

‘Venus’, 1490s, by Sandro Botticelli

V&A's Botticelli Reimagined has too many desperate pretenders

5 March 2016 9:00 am

When Tom Birkin, hero of J.L. Carr’s novel A Month in the Country, wakes from sleeping in the sun, it…

Cecily Parsley makes cowslip wine, illustration from‘Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes’ by Beatrix Potter

The art of Beatrix Potter

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Her best illustrations — limpid, ethereal, carefully observed — are masterly works of art in their own right, argues Matthew Dennison

Rex Whistler: ‘a desolate sense of loneliness amidst so much fun’

14 November 2015 9:00 am

When Hugh and Mirabel Cecil’s book In Search of Rex Whistler was published in 2012, the late Brian Sewell reviewed…