The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Illustrators: The british Art of Illustration 1800-2007

LONDON.-For 25 years The Chris Beetles Gallery has been famous for promoting the art and history of Illustration, and this exhibition marks the pinnacle of our efforts.

With 1000 pictures on the wall, 200 years of art history and a 450 page, museum quality catalogue, The Illustrators will be one of London’s most exciting exhibitions this winter.

As Chris Beetles says, “Illustration is a visual feast, it is comforting nostalgia and literary obsession expressed in so many ways from rambunctious 19th century narrative to nursery delight, from Thomas Rowlandson to Quentin Blake. We are going to celebrate the art of illustration in all its glory with one of the biggest and comprehensive exhibitions in the world.”

Starting with Thomas Rowlandson, we navigate our way through Regency satire to the glorious era of Victorian ‘Punch’ Illustrations when artists like Sir John Tenniel, George Du Maurier, and Linley Sambourne entertained the public with their witty, accomplished cartoons.

We then move on to the twentieth century when, during the first 40 years, Arthur Rackham, E H Shepard, and William Heath Robinson dominated the British illustration scene. All three are represented heavily in the exhibition with large groups of their most popular work on display including drawings from ‘Peter Pan In Kensington Gardens’, ‘The House At Pooh Corner’, and a number of Heath Robinson’s contraptions. Alongside these will be displayed work by their contemporaries including Louis Wain, Edmund Dulac, Walter Crane, Mabel Lucie Attwell, Kate Greenaway, H M Bateman, and a host of other much loved illustrators.

The generation to follow these is perhaps the most familiar to people today. Adults and children alike will delight in seeing quantities of original work by Ronald Searle, Norman Thelwell, Edward Ardizzone, Mervyn Peake, Giles, Rowland Emett, and many more favourites from post-war magazines, newspapers, comics and children’s books.

We end by bringing illustration up to date with examples of the best contemporary work from illustrators Quentin Blake, Michael Foreman, Peter Cross, Paul Cox and Helen Oxenbury. Also included will be the quick wit of newspaper cartoonists Peter Brookes, Matt, Nick Newman, Kipper Williams, Mac and, from across the Atlantic, the great American satirist Ed Sorel.

Accompanying the exhibition will be our biggest ever catalogue. Its 450 pages of academic essays, erudite biographies, full bibliographies and over 700 full colour images will represent the most comprehensive text on illustration published to date. It will be available from the gallery for £25 + £5 postage (UK only). The exhibition runs until 5 January 2008.

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