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Comment: (COVER: MEDIUM WEAR) (PAGES: MEDIUM WEAR)
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Illustrations and Ornamentation from The Faerie Queene (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) Paperback – November 9, 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This anthology's magnificent illustrations and decorations in the medieval style were created by famed artist Walter Crane in the 1890s to illustrate a sumptuous multivolume limited edition of The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser’s sixteenth-century allegorical epic poem. A tribute to Queen Elizabeth I, the poem celebrates holiness, temperance, chastity, friendship, and other virtues in verse tales of knightly adventure, courtly love, and acts of gallantry. Crane created these 352 magnificent illustrations and decorations in the rich nineteenth-century style of neo-medievalism made famous by William Morris and his Kelmscott Press, with which Crane was associated.
Crane's designs have been meticulously reproduced here, including striking images of gallant knights in armor, demure maidens, fearsome dragons, unicorns, angels, and a host of decorative elements—all displayed in a rich variety of full-page plates, finely detailed borders, and exquisite vignettes. Also included are charming headpieces, tailpieces, decorative initials, and the exquisite typography that originally appeared within the borders and other areas.
Sure to delight any admirer of Crane's dazzling style, this splendid archive, skillfully arranged by Carol Belanger Grafton, will also provide a wealth of inspiration and immediately usable graphics for artists and illustrators alike.
Dover (1991) original compilation of all of Walter Crane's designs for The Faerie Queene, as published by George Allen, London, 1894–96.

About the Author

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), though best known for his novels and short stories for adults, also produced several works for children, including a companion volume to A Wonder Book called Tanglewood Tales (1853).
About the Illustrator:
Walter Crane (1845-1915) was one of the most popular English illustrators of children's books in the late nineteenth century. He was one of the first book artists to experiment with color in picture books.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Fine Art, History of Art
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (April 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486402746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486402741
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,147,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Wonderful illustrations from a work of romance, chivalry, and adventure, with classical mythology tossed in. I believe the only pieces not included from the six-volume original are the double-page title spread and the cover design featuring Una and the lion (used when the work-in-progress was being issued in parts a few cantos at a time, but also bound into some finished copies). "The Faerie Queene" is like an alternate version of the Arthurian Legends--the same type of stories, but not the same stories--with the admixture of other fantasy genres. These other elements mean that there is more nudity here than in illustrations of the actual Round Table stories, in case that matters to you. (When he married, Crane promised he'd no longer depict the female nude from life, but memory seems to have served him quite adequately for this labor of love!)
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Walter Crane is one of the best artists of all time. His vision of the Faerie Queene is beyond compare. I use the illustrations to practice drawing. They are a challenge, but a superb kind of challenge. Whether one is an admirer of the Faerie Queene, or of art itself, this book is not only reasonably priced but well designed packing the maximum number of pictures into the book and making many of the pictures full page size so the reader can really appreciate the detail contained in each illustration.
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Format: Paperback
This book is part of the Dover Pictorial Archive series. It states: "You may use the designs and illustrations for graphics and crafts applications, free and without special permission, provided that you include no more than ten in the same publication or project. For permission for additional use, please write to Permissions Department, Dover Publications, Inc., 31 East 2nd Street, Mineola, NY 11501. However, republication or reproduction of any illustration by any other graphic service, whether it be in a book or in any other design resource, is strictly prohibited."

The designs are very lyrical and romantic. There are knights in battle, maidens in distress, and classical gods like Neptune/Poseidon. Many of the illustrations have intricate, ornate borders that are as interesting as the main illustrations themselves. Jousting, sailing ships, mythical creatures - if you're looking for chivalrous or courtly drawings to inspire your own art, this is the book for you!
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