John Dickson Batten (1860-1932) has been a favorite illustrator since I was a kid. While not as celebrated as many of his contemporaries, his pen work illustrations and works in tempera are amazing. This image of a group of frog-like goblins remains a favorite of mine; its weirdly cheerful atmosphere--and especially the goofy expression on the middle figure--cracks me up.
Nosing through a used bookstore while in art school, I was fortunate to find this old edition of Joseph Jacob's English Fairy Tales from 1891. It contains many of Batten's greatest images--plus this sweet cover!
Here's one of my all time favorites!
My parents gave me a set of illustrated books early on. This is the Batten image that first caught my eye as a five-year-old.
Characters (and musician characters) give me a charge, and Batten drew many.
He also painted dramatic works using tempera on gesso.
The painting of Snow Drop and the Seven Little Men can be seen large and gorgeous here:
Hope you enjoy Batten's works as much as I,
and thanks for checking out my blog!