Exhibits >> When Phantasie Takes Flight >> Color & Light

Color and light are trademarks of many illustrators from the mid to late 19th century. Rackham, Pogány and Maxfield Parrish play with light and color and achieve artistic and unique effects upon their readers that are the equal to any illustrator – past or present. Consider the realization of golden and other metallic sheens in Willy Pogány’ s Tannhäuser (the golden glow of Venus even as evil lurks in the shadows) or Parrish’s innocent young man swinging from a tree branch while gazing upon the majestic golden-hued castle in the clouds. But it is Rackham and his depiction of the golden touch of Midas that makes perhaps the most dramatic, yet poignant impression on the reader as his gold finger transforms his daughter into cold hard metal. Sunlight and metallic reflection, while difficult to capture, create stunning effects on the viewer. Yet contrasts in the depth of color created by an artist can have similar visual effects: consider Margaret Tarrant and N. C. Wyeth, each of whom brings life to their images by contrasting colors in their subject. And finally, Parrish’s Knave of Hearts may be the hero of the tale, but it is the manager’s vivid red costume that catches and holds the eye of the story’s reader.


T. W. Rolleston and Willy Pogány
from T. W. Rolleston’s Tannhäuser
G. G. Harrap & Co.
7 ¾ in. x 5 ¼ in.
PR5236 .R3 T22 1911
Harold and Mary Jean Hanson Rare Book Collection
Louise Saunders and Maxfield Parrish
from Louise Saunders’ The Knave of Hearts
Charles Scribner’s Sons
12 in. x 9 ¾ in.
Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature