Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Laurence Scarfe Illustrates Three Ghosts


Laurence Scarfe has been mentioned on Front Free Endpaper before, about two years ago when R and I visited Poole Museum and saw some screenprinted tiles from the Poole Pottery from the 1960s, some of them by Scarfe. He was a Yorkshire born lithographer, mural painter, book illustrator and a graphic and commercial artist. He was the art editor of The Saturday Book and a regular illustrator for The Radio Times and whilst he trained at the Royal College of Art, his longest full-time post was as a lecturer at The Central School of Arts and Crafts.

He comes from the same artistic garden as the likes of Ravilious and Bawden but, because he survived them both, and perhaps because of the necessities of his commercial work, his style moved with the times and his work from the 1970s in particular has a real feel of the decade about it.

This little paperback is called Three Ghosts. As well as the illustrations here, there are also some delightful and detailed black and white work in the text which show more clearly his links to Ravilious et. al., and may yet find their way onto the blog. The three ghosts in question are from three stories, "The Red Room" by H. G. Wells, "Rats" by M. R. James and "The Return of Imray" by Rudyard Kipling. I like them because they manage to be both lighthearted and eerie at the same time.




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