These are some of the illustrations for Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales by Dugald Stewart Walker. I'm sure for some of you reading this blog that must be a very familiar name but I confess, until today, I hadn't come across any of his work before: perhaps because as an American he is not so well known here in the UK. The Fairy Tales are illustrated with colour plates throughout but as usual my eye is drawn to the black and white work, of which there is a huge amount as well from full-page illustrations like these to story headers and illustrations in the text.
I may be doing the man a disservice in my selection here because they are not all like this. There are plenty that have just a single figure with huge amounts of white space, like early Heath Robinson illustrations. But these ultra detailed black and white illustrations are quite something. It's always the done thing to compare illustrators to each other and to attempt to put them in a 'tradition' and it is certainly true that there is something of Heath Robinson and something of Harry Clarke about this chap, but he really is his own man as well and quite the best 'new' discovery I've made by simply picking up a book and flicking through it for a long time.