Any lovers of Edward Ardizzone's work out there?
I have probably wrongly described Edward Ardizzone (self-portrait above) as a children's illustrator, his remit is much wider, but I first came across his work when reading the Tim series (Tim and the Brave Sea Captain etc) and also the Nurse Mathilda books as a child, and loved his delicate line drawings and those with wash. With just a few simple lines he managed to create a real character on the page, full of expression. Apparently, Edward Ardizzone believed that an illustrator should not draw down to children but draw up to please oneself and treated each small illustration in the same was as a piece for an exhibition.
It was with some joy many years later that I later discovered that the first two books of the Barchester Chronicles in the OUP series, had illustrations by him. The later ones, sadly, do not. These pictures are sheer delight. While those of us who have seen the BBC version of the Chronicles have the wonderful Alan Rickman firmly entrenched in our vision as the utterly awful Obadiah Slope (surely a relation of Uriah Heep), the illustration of Mr Slope preaching is a gem.
Ardizzone spent the Second World War as an official war artist, taught book illustration and was a tutor in etching and lithography at the Royal College of Art in London, so cannot be categorised as just a children's illustrator but it is how I will always remember him.