Over the years there have been many great illustrators that have pursued their artistic inclinations to provide us with the most incredible drawings, sketches and illustrations. People like Emile Marcelin, Frederick Sandys and George Cruikshank. We take a closer look at these early pioneers of illustration and learn more about what inspired them and how they came to fame.
Thomas Bewick was an Englishman who was born in the beautiful county of Northumberland. His main way of producing his art was through engraving blocks of wood, and he took this ancient way of making art to another modern level.
He is classed as one of the old masters of engraving, that used a particular form to make their art. Their way of crossing black lines, to alter the shade of the engraving was commonly known as Cross-Hatching, and it was the founder of many techniques to come later such as calico-printing and paper-staining.
The work of Thomas Bewick and his contemporaries was to say the least a passion, as it was so time consuming to produce illustrations this way.
Born at the turn of the century in 1801, Paul Gavarni is one of the most talented illustrators ever. The work he produced almost defined the 19th Century, and anybody wanting to get to know his art better should seek out the catalog by Maherault & Bocher.
Gavarni did not really start to produce illustrations until he was thirty, bu the Parisian soon made up for lost time. His background was at the Ecole du Conservatoire, where he learned how to draw machines. His passion for drawing started with lithographs, and the collection entitled Recreations displays his early talent.After resigning from an engraving assignment, Gavarni set out on a journey, with him he took his drawing essentials and a few clothes. The trip almost ended in disaster but gave him great experience for sketching a wide variety of subjects.
Frederic de Courcy
Frederic de Courcy studied under the painter Francois-Edouard Picot, along with contemporaries of the time William Bouguereau, Gustave Moreau, and Alexandre Cabanel. A great friendship began with de Courcy and Moreau and they took a trip together to Italy to learn more about drawing and illustrating.
On his return to Paris in 1861, Frederic de Courcy started to display his work at the Paris Salon, his painting La Paque was particularly well received. He followed this success with two more paintings but this time on a historical theme.Over the period between 1866 to 1868, de Courcy exhibited three more times at the Paris Salon, and now he was one of the most popular artists in Paris. His interest in enamel came later on in his career, and he pursued it even further by moving to the Sevres factory, where he was to teach engraving and illustrations. These great artists have enriched the lives of so many with their great works, they have also inspired generations of subsequent illustrators to continue their legacy.