Friday, November 21, 2014

Artist Feature: Paul Woodroffe

Fairy tale illustrations can run the range from lush, intricately detailed paintings, to cutesy and almost cartoony. Paul Woodroffe (1875-1854) stands out in that his illustrations tend to have a slightly more mature feel to them. In his depiction of Little Red Riding Hood below, he took a character that is almost universally drawn as a very young child and made her a young woman. His characters, I think, tend to look more human and relatable, and it elevates the genre to something adults can appreciate as well as children.

Other illustrations of LRRH for comparison: young, almost infantile with chubby cheeks; the picture of innocence and naivety:
Gustav Dore
Ella Dolbear Lee
Margaret Evans Price
Jessie Wilcox Smith
John B. Gruelle

And Paul Woodroffe's LRRH:

His other fairy tale illustrations:
Beauty and the Beast
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Jack and the Beanstalk
Puss in Boots
Sleeping Beauty

While the fairy tale community may know him best for these pictures, he is primarily remembered for his work with stained glass.

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