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ILLUSTRATION

of his woodcuts were entirely dependent on the designer being his own cutter; and the same happy relationship gave distinct characteristics to the nearly contemporary work of William Blake and of Calvert. Blake’s wonderful Illustrations to the Book of Job, while magnificent in their conventional rendering of light and shade, still retain the colourlessness of the old masters, as do also the more broadly handled designs to his own books of prophecy and verse; but in his woodcuts to Philips’s Pastorals the modern tendency towards local colour makes itself strongly felt. So wonderfully, indeed, have colour and tone been expressed in these rough wood-blocks, that more vivid impressions of darkness and twilight falling across quiet landscape have never been produced through the same materials. The pastoral designs made by Edward Calvert on similar lines can hardly be over-praised. Technically these engravings are far more able than those from which they drew their inspiration.

With the exception of the two artists named, and in a minor degree of Thomas Stothard and John Flaxman, who also produced original illustrations, the period from the end of the 18th century till about the middle of the 19th was less notable for the work of the designer than of the engraver. The delicate plates to Rogers’s Italy were done from drawings which Turner had not produced for purposes of illustration; and the admirable lithographs of Samuel Prout and Richard Bonington were merely studies of architecture and landscape made in a material that admitted of indefinite multiplication. It is true that Géricault came over to England about the year 1820 to draw the English race-horse and other studies of country life, which were published in London in 1821, and that other fine work in lithography was done by James Ward, G. Cattermole, and somewhat later by J. F. Lewis. But illustration proper, subject-illustration applied to literature, was mainly in the hands of the wood-engravers; and these, forming a really fine school founded on the lines which Bewick had laid down, had for about thirty years to content themselves with rendering the works of ephemeral artists, among whom Benjamin R. Haydon and John Martin stand out as the chief lights. It must not be forgotten, however, that while the day of a serious English school of illustration had not yet come, Great Britain possessed an indigenous tradition of gross and lively caricature; a tradition of such robust force and vulgarity that, by the side of some choicer specimens of James Gillray and Henry W. Bunbury, the art of Rowlandson appears almost refined. This was the school in which George Cruikshank, John Leech, and the Dickens illustrators had their training, from which they drew more and more away; until, with the help of Punch, just before the middle of the 19th century, English caricaturists had learned the secret of how to be apposite and amusing without scurrility and without libel. (See Caricature.)

Under Newspapers will be found some account of the rise of illustrated journalism. It was in about the year 1832 that the illustrated weekly paper started on its career in England, and almost by accident determined Influence of Wood-engraving. under what form a great national art was to develop itself. While in France the illustrators were making their triumphs by means of lithography, English illustration was becoming more and more identified with wood-engraving. The demand for a method of illustration, easy to produce and easy to print, for books and magazines of large circulation and moderate price, forced the artist before long into drawing upon the wood itself; and so soon as the artist had asserted his preference for facsimile over “tint,” the school which came to be called “of the ’sixties” was in embryo, and waited only for artistic power to give it distinction. The engraver’s translation of the artist’s painting or wash-drawing into “tint” had largely exalted the individuality of the engraver at the expense of the artist. But from the moment when the designer began to put his own lines upon the wood, new conditions shaped themselves; and though the artist at times might make demands which the engraver could not follow, or the engraver inadequately fulfil the expectation of the artist, the general tendency was to bring designer and engraver into almost ideal relations—an ideal which nothing short of the artist being his own engraver could have equalled. Out of an alliance cemented by their common use and understanding of the material on which they worked came the school of facsimile or partial-facsimile engraving which flourished during the ’sixties, and lasted just so long as its conditions were unimpaired—losing its flavour only at the moment when “improved” mechanical appliances enabled the artist once more to dissociate himself from the conditions which bound the engraver in his craft.

Before the fortunate circumstances which governed the work of the ’sixties became decisive, illustrations of a transitional character, but tending to the same end, had been produced by John Tenniel, John Gilbert, Birket Pre-Raphaelite movement. Foster, Harrison Weir, T. Creswick, W. Mulready and others; but their methods were too vague and diffuse to bear as yet the mark of a school; no single influence gave a unity to their efforts. On some of them Adolf von Menzel’s illustrations to Kügler’s Frederick the Great, published in England in 1844, may have left a mark; Gilbert certainly shows traces of the influence of Delacroix and Bonington in the free, loose method of his draughtsmanship, independent of accurate modelling, and with here and there a paint-like dab of black to relieve a generally colourless effect; while Tenniel, with cold, precise lines of wire-drawn hardness, remained the representative of the past academic style, influencing others by the dignity of his fine technique, but with his own feeling quite untouched by the Pre-Raphaelite and romantic movement which was soon to occupy the world of illustration. In greater or less degree it may be said of the work of all these artists that, as it antedates, so to the end does it stand somewhat removed in character from, the school with which for a time it became contemporary. The year which decisively marked the beginning of new things in illustration was 1857, the year of the Moxon Tennyson and of Wilmott’s Poets of the Nineteenth Century, with illustrations by Rossetti, Millais, Holman Hunt and Ford Madox Brown. In these artists we get the germ of the movement which afterwards came to have so wide a popularity. At the beginning, Pre-Raphaelite in name, poetic and literary in its choice of subjects, the school quickly expanded to an acceptance of those open-air and everyday subjects which one connects with the names of Frederick Walker, Arthur B. Houghton, G. F. Pinwell and M. North. The illustrations of the Pre-Raphaelites were eminently thoughtful, full of symbolism, and with a certain pressure of interest to which the epithet of “intense” came to be applied. As an example of their method of thought-transference from word to form, Madox Brown’s drawing for the Dalziel Bible of “Elijah and the Widow’s Son” may be taken. The restoration of life to a dead body, of a child to its mother, is there conveyed with many illustrative touches and asides, which become clumsy when stated in words. The hen bearing her chicken between her wings is a perfectly direct and appropriate pictorial symbol, but a far more imaginative stroke is the shadow on the wall of a swallow flying back to the clay bottle where it has made its nest. Here is illustration full of literary symbolism, yet wholly pictorial in its means; and in this it is entirely characteristic of Pre-Raphaelite feeling, with its method of suggesting, through externals, consideration as opposed to mere outlook. Of this phase Rossetti must be accounted the leader, but it was Millais who, by the sheer weight of his personality, carried English illustration along with him from Pre-Raphaelitism to the freer romanticism and naturalistic tendencies of the ’sixties. Rossetti, with his poetic enthusiasm, his strong personal magnetism and dramatic power of composition, may be said to have brought about the awakening; it was Millais who, by his rapid development Influence of Millais. of style, his original and daring technique, turned it into a movement. When he started, there were many influences behind him and his fellow-workers—among older foreign contemporaries, those of Menzel and Rethel; and behind these again something of the old masters. But through a transitional period, represented by his twelve drawings of “The Parables,” which appeared first in Good Words, Millais emerged in to the perfect independence of his illustrations to Trollope’s novels, Framley Parsonage, and The