Infectious enthusiasm

Walter Crane sword-in-stoneBarbara Tepa Lupack, Alan Lupack
Illustrating Camelot
D S Brewer (Arthurian Studies) 2008

As befits a study on Arthurian book illustrations, Illustrating Camelot has a generous helping of examples of the genre – forty in monochrome and thirty-two in colour. If a picture is worth a thousand words then we have a text automatically augmented by 72,000 words!

And what a text it is. Using thirteen named illustrators as her framework, Barbara Tepa Lupack takes us through two centuries and more of imaging the court of Arthur, commenting on the politics, mores and personalities of the times and their inter-relationship with the depiction of the Arthurian ideal. Continue reading “Infectious enthusiasm”

An engrossing enquiry

rossetti grailChristine Poulson The Quest for the Grail:
Arthurian Legend in British Art, 1840-1920
Manchester University Press 1999

The author, a now moderately successful crime-writer, was at the time of writing a Fellow of the Centre for Nineteenth-century Studies at the University of Sheffield, but The Quest for the Grail is no dry-as-dust academic publication. Plentifully illustrated with fourteen colour and sixty monochrome plates, this is an engrossing enquiry into the 19th-century renaissance of the Arthurian legend in representational art, stimulated by the 1817 re-publication of Malory and by Tennyson’s later reworkings of the tales. Continue reading “An engrossing enquiry”