Saturday, 26 November 2016

colour by number

Far more than just previsioning the popularity and therapeutic nature of the colouring book for grown-ups, British illustrator Walter Crane was one of the most prolific and influential of his generation and really embodies the spirit of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Crane’s contributions were numerous and across many different formats, but Crane found himself increasingly isolated and was blacklisted for his Socialist leanings, his work appearing in many anarchist and social justice publications and scandalised himself by defending his American cousins who incited the riots that lead to the Haymarket Massacre. Unable to curb his compulsion to draw and create—with or without a public outlet, Crane turned to children’s literature, including this 1889 Painting Book of fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Although denied a proper voice among his contemporaries, Crane inserted his thoughts on design and composition and what the æsthetic of the age ought to be within the details of his complex and allegorical illustrations.