Freitag, 22. November 2013

Edward Julius Detmold - illustrations for the *The Arabian Nights*

Published in 1924 by Hodder and Stoughton (London), The Arabian Nights presents a suite of illustrations that may, arguably, represent the high point of Detmold's artistic contribution to illustrated books.
Detmold's interest in the Eastern tales within The Arabian Nights explored themes that had occupied him (as they had also caught the attention of his brother, during his lifetime) for many years. Pencil drawings are known to exist from the earlier careers of both brothers illustrating scenes from the tales, including a preliminary pencil study by Maurice that is held by The Victoria and Albert Museum. In the circumstances, wherein The Arabian Nights was Detmold's final work before retiring, it seems fitting that he turned his skill to exploring the wonderful world of the East that had captured the brothers' eyes so many years before.
Given Detmold's artistic reputation of any eye for detail, it is little wonder that his magnificent illustrations for The Arabian Nights benefit from his characteristic treatment of the subject, namely, the combination of extreme natural details and a delicacy and attention to colour that is reminiscent of Persian miniatures.
Edward Julius Detmold was born in Putney, London 1883, the younger of twin boys. His brother Charles Maurice shared in every stage of his artistic development. The boys began to study and draw animals at the Zoological Gardens in Regent’s Park. In 1897 both boys were exhibitors at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours.
On April 9th, 1908, Maurice committed suicide by inhaling chloroform. He was 24 years old.

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