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Illustration for 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' - shoemaker 
showing his wife shoes for the elves
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Illustration for 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' - shoemaker showing his wife shoes for the elves

George Roland Halkett (1865 - 1918)

Height: 20.2 cm; Width: 17.2 cm;

Inscription, EX WITT LIB 921/65 (10A)
Collector's mark

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt Library; transfer; 1978 (circa)

About this work
George Halkett, art critic and editor of several weekly magazines, was best known as a political cartoonist. His illustrations to the Brothers Grimm's fairy tale 'Rumpelstiltskin' (1882) are possibly his only published illustrations for a children's book. The designs he made the next year for 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' followed the same format, but were evidently not published.

This selection of preparatory studies shows the artist's working ideas for black-and-white illustrations, some of them framed, to be set within the text. Starting with pencil, Halkett experiments with details, before finishing in pen and ink. The strong outlines, bright colours and solid black areas in these full-page illustrations were hallmarks of the style popularized by Walter Crane (1845-1915) in his widely influential 'Toy Books' published between 1865-76. The new picture book format replaced the more educational material read by previous generations of children. The titles are taken from Halkett's working notes. (Permanent collection label)

This work is not on display
While we make every effort to ensure this information is correct, displays are subject to last-minute changes.

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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