O.Wilde, Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. (...)
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. (...)

No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. (...)
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.
When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself...

O. Wilde (1854-1900),
Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

Monday, December 13, 2010

Arthur Rackham, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

Arthur Rackham

Famous English book illustrator
best known for his work on fairy tales and children's books

   Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

Based on J. M. Barrie's The Little White Bird (1902), the book focuses
on the figure of Peter Pan, a baby who lives in Kensington Gardens with
the fairies.
Rackham's deluxe and trade editions of the book both contained a color
frontispiece and forty-nine color plates as well as endpapers with a map
of  Kensington  Gardens.    This  publication  became "the outstanding
Christmas gift-book" of  1906.


Maimie and the chrysanthemum.

This  picture beautifully exemplifies  the Victorians' contradictory view of childhood,
with the beauty and innocence of Maimie's china-doll face contrasted with the image
of  a gnarled yet intriguing fancy  that  appears in the anthropomorphized flower and
Rackham's self-caricatured pointy nose and glasses.

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