Sunday 19 May 2024

Arthur Rackham


Arthur Rackham (1867–1939) In 1906 Arthur Rackham was approached to illustrate The Wind in the Willows, but had had to decline the offer due to a deadline for A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1908. 
In the  summer of 1936 George Macy suggested that Arthur illustrated The Wind in the Willows.

Due to Arthurs failing health, the illustrations for The Wind in the Willows took him three years to complete. A perfectionist, Arthur would not rest until he was satisfied with the appearance of each illustration. The Wind in the Willows was Arthur Rackham's last completed illustrated work before he died on September 6, 1939. 
It was published in 1940 by George Macy’s company, the Limited Editions Club, in New York City. 

Slowly, the drawings for The Wind in the Willows were developed. The last drawing of all to be completed was that of Rat and Mole loading their boat for a picnic. Arthur's daughter Barbara remembered her fathers great exhaustion and etreme difficulty he was having in getting it all done. When he had, as he thought, finished it, he suddenly discovered that there were no oars in the boat.
Barbara had tried to pursued him that this detail did not matter, but he insisted that everything must be right, and with immense effort altered the drawing and included the oars. After he had done this, he lay back in his bed and said,"Thank goodness, that is the last one". 

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