Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Joseph Noel Paton

I was entranced earlier today by picking up a copy of The Art Union's 1863 publication of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, as illustrated by Joseph Noel Paton, a pre-Raphaelite in style but here drawing in line only and creating some truly stunning images. The copy I encountered was in a parlous condition, foxed and torn throughout, with a spine that more resembled a piece of shredded string. However, it was good enough to let me appreciate that there were some really special images in the book. Of course, the Internet is our friend in these matters and I didn't have to buy the book this time in order to share the pictures as Chris Mullen at The Visual Telling of Stories already has so for the rest please go here - and then spend a few hours digging around his amazing website.

Noel Paton (1821-1901), it seems, was a well-known painter of fairy, allegorical and religious scenes but perhaps one of those painters for whom a knowledge of their life adds little to an appreciation of the work - which is just as well since even Wikipedia fails to find more than a few short paragraphs and a list of work.

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