Frank Cheyne Papé lived a long life. Unfortunately we don’t seem to know very much about it. Papé was born in 1878 and later lived in Tunbridge Wells with his wife Agnes.
He appears to have started illustrating at the beginning of the 1900’s and hit the big time with his work in James Branch Cabell’s rather risqué ‘Jurgen’ in 1921.
Papé continued his black and white work with more of cabell’s books and other satires. He died in 1972 aged 94.
Below is an example of Papés magical earlier colour work. The Russian Story Book is a ‘retelling of tales from the song-cycles of Kiev and Novgorod and other early sources’.
The Russian Story Book – 1916
To find these wonderful pictures and more art by Frank Cheyne Papé on high quality cards, postcards and posters, please click below 🙂
Jessie Willcox Smith was an American illustrator whose impressive volume of work includes more than 60 books and almost 200 covers for Good Housekeeping.
Born in Philadelphia in 1863, Jessie didn’t discover her talent until the age of 16. After attending the School of Design for Women and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia she worked for the Ladies’ Home Journal for 5 years. Frustrated by her education so far, Jessie left the job to study under Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute in 1894.
After leaving Drexel, Jessie rented a studio with two fellow students of Pyle, Violet Oakley and Elizabeth Shippen Green. 14 years later she was working steadily and had enough financial security to have her own house and studio built. The property was surrounded by gardens that her young models would play in while she observed, waiting for the perfect subject to draw. Working in natural light and with her models playing freely around her the results are the wonderfully warm and charming illustrations below.
Remaining unmarried, Jessie Willcox Smith seems to have sacrificed motherhood for her career but her life was certainly not childless. Her drawings show the love and passion she had for children. In later years Jessie chose portrait work and kept her subjects’ attention with fairy tales. In her own words…
“It has been one long joyous road along which troop delightful children, happy children, sad children, thoughtful children, and above all wondering, imaginative children, who give to their charmingly original thoughts a delicious quaintness of expression. I love to paint them all.”
She died in 1935 aged 71.
The Seven Ages of Childhood – 1909
At the Back of the North Wind – 1919
The Princess and the Goblin – 1920
Please take a look at my Jessie Willcox Smith cards, postcards and posters – just click on the poster below – thanks for visiting 🙂
“Her achievement was beauty, a delicate, fantastic beauty, created with brush and pencil. Almost unschooled in art, her life spent in prosaic places of the West and Middle West, she made pictures of haunting loveliness, suggesting Oriental lands she never saw and magical realms no one ever knew except in the dreams of childhood … Perhaps it was the hardships of her own life that gave the young artist’s work its fanciful quality. In the imaginative scenes she set down on paper she must have escaped from the harsh actualities of existence.”
I am starting off this blog with my favourite Golden Age artist, Virginia Frances Sterrett. The above comment from the St Louis Post-Dispatch of July 1931, perfectly sums up her amazing accomplishments despite her short and difficult life.
Virginia Frances Sterrett was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1900 and moved with her family to Missouri and Kansas following the death of her father.
She started to draw as a small child and, encouraged by the success of her drawings in the Kansas State Fair Exhibition, she went to Chicago at 15 to attend high school and study art. She was given a full scholarship. Unfortunately, her mother became ill and Sterrett was forced to leave her studies to support the family. Virginia worked in various art advertising agencies until her own health began to fail. In 1919 at age 19, Sterrett received her first commission. She was also diagnosed with tuberculosis.
Old French Fairy Tales was published in 1920. Consisting of 5 ageless fairy tales by Sophie, la Comtesse de Ségur, the book included 8 magnificent full page colour illustrations and many equally stunning line drawings.
She threw her arms around the neck of Bonne-Biche
Rosalie never left the park, which was surrounded by high walls
They were three months passing through the forest
The fairy must give herself up to the queen and lose her power for eight days
What are you seeking, little one?
The broom was on fire at once, blazed up and burned her hands
Violette consented willingly to pass the night in the forest
I have enjoyed restoring these wonderful illustrations and have some products to share with you. All images are at least 300 ppi to show the incredible detail. Please take a look.
I’ll be visiting Virginia’s life and work again at a later date so please do come back.