Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Inspiration : Kate Greenaway

Considered by many to be the most popular of children's illustrators, Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) was a Victorian English illustrator whose images of children and fairy worlds exhibited the innocence of childhood and nostalgia for the idealic world in which they live. Greenaway's work creates a sense of the penultimate middle-class Victorian (although stylistically Regency) childhood - one where it's always nice weather, the flowers are always blooming and one can ignore the nastiness of life in favor of games, tea-times and stories.

Stylistically, her drawings are quite simple with clean lines and light colors - especially as compared to the ornate styles usually associated with Victorian era design. Her work became some of the first to be mass marketed through merchandise, although often without her permission and reproduced under the guise of the "Greenaway style". Her imagery has been used for porcelain figurines & tiles, wallpaper, dolls, tea sets, printed fabric and even children's clothing.

You can see a beautifully digitized copy of her book "A Apple Pie" at the Library of Congress.

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