[n.p.]: , 1932. Item #00026
A Superb Original Arthur Rackham Watercolor Drawing
RACKHAM, Arthur (1867-1939). “Just as the swineherd was taking the eighty-sixth kiss.” [N.p.: n.d., ca. 1932]. Original pen-and-ink and watercolor drawing for the color plate facing p. 84, illustrating the fairy tale “The Swineherd” in Arthur Rackham’s Fairy Tales by Hans Andersen (London: ). Signed at lower left. Image size: 11 13/16 x 9 1/16 inches; 300 x 231 mm. Matted, framed, and glazed.
This highly detailed pen-and-ink and watercolor drawing depicts the swineherd, “that is to say, the Prince (but, of course, they did not know that he was not a real swineherd),” and the Princess sitting just outside the pigsty, kissing, with three pigs in the pigsty at lower left, five maids of honor standing around them at right counting the kisses, and the Emperor watching them from behind a brick fence.
"Now well into his sixties, Rackham was in any case gradually moving away from the vitalized energetic gothic vision of the world, and an imaginative richness, one might even say a lyrical tone was entering his work. With the distinct mellowing and spiritualization of vision which comes with age, there was an urge to find an eternal mellowing of style. Yet it appears from some of the drawings and paintings of the early thirties that Rackham was aware of the public's reluctance to accept this change; they wanted the old Rackham, the one who would give them fairies, monsters, dragons, gnomes and living trees..." (Gettings, Arthur Rackham, p. 154).
"The Observer invited Hugh Walpole to chose the best picture-book of 1932. 'I give the prize without hesitation to Rackham's Hans Andersen,' Walpole replied. 'He has risen nobly to his subject. He has acquired a new tenderness and grace. His fantasy is stronger than ever.' Twenty-five years after its publication, the Hans Andersen had become one of the most difficult of Rackham's books to buy second-hand" (Hudson, Arthur Athur Rackham His Life and Work, p. 133-34).