: , 1913. Item #04287
Original Watercolor Drawing for
“Arthur Rackham’s Book of Pictures”
RACKHAM, Arthur. “Wee Folk.” [N.p.: n.d., ca. 1913]. Original pen-and-ink and watercolor drawing for the seventh color plate in “Arthur Rackham’s Book of Pictures” (London: 1913). Signed “Arthur Rackham” within a cartouche at lower right. With a label on the reverse, signed and dated by Rackham: “Exhibition of Works by/Arthur Rackham/Held at The Leicester Galleries,/Leicester Square, London./Nov 1913/No. 54 Goblins/Purchaser/A.W. Moro Esq.” Image size: 9 1/2 x 5 5/16 inches; 240 x 135 mm. Matted, framed, and glazed.
A superb example of Arthur Rackham’s masterly penmanship, incredibly understated in its conception and wonderfully evocative. This watercolor is reproduced on p. 131 of Fred Gettings’s Arthur Rackham (London: 1975).
Arthur Rackham’s Picture Book “consists of a series of forty-four coloured plates and a few line drawings with an amusing introduction by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch…In his Introduction Sir Arthur waxes poetic about the collection, speaking of it as a kind of ‘biography’” (Gettings, p. 321).
In this delicate drawing, Rackham is at his best with this simple rendering, using soft washes of color and drawing his typically well-known animals and elves. “Therefore, even if there were no such things as fairies, the children would have to invent them - pixies, nixies, gnomes, goblins, elves, kobbolds, and the rest - to account for the marvels that are happening all the while, but especially while we sleep…” (Introduction by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch to Arthur Rackham’s Book of Pictures, p.29).
Fred Gettings Arthur Rackham, p.131.