Exhibits >> When Phantasie Takes Flight >> Women

Images of women in children’s literature have encompassed every aspect of human and spiritual life, whether good or evil, beautiful or ugly, innocent or depraved. As authors employed their words to convey such characteristics, artists and illustrators translated words into idiosyncratic, individualized, yet curiously imitative portraits to convey their interpretation of an author’s intent. In this grouping, and in reference to the works by Arthur Rackham, illustrators brought an author’s imagination from words to pictures that captivated both younger and older readers. Often, an illustrator might pay homage to a predecessor by painting a sympathetic or reflective depiction of that artist’s imagined portrait of a woman whose actual image exists originally in words. Compare the depictions of women as imagined by Beardsley, Pogány and Rackham for examples of such real or imagined influence.


The Tale of Lohengrin Knight of the Swan
Suddenly the branches twined
How at the Castle of Corbin a maiden bare
William Shakespeare and Arthur Rackham
Fair Helena, who more engilds the night than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light
from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer-Night’s Dream
7 ½ in x 5 in.
PR2827 .A2 R3 1908b
Harold and Mary Jean Hanson Rare Book Collection
Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, and
Arthur Rackham
Suddenly the branches twined round her and turned into two arms
from [the Brothers Grimm’s] Little Brother & Little Sister: And Other Tales
T. and A. Constable
7 ¼ in. x 6 in.
Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature
Sir Thomas Malory and Arthur Rackham
How at the Castle of Corbin a maiden bare in the Sangreal and foretold the achievements of Galahad
Abridged from Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, The Romance of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table
Macmillan and Co., Ltd.
7 in. x 4 ¾ in.
Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature