The Story in Paintings: Walter Crane, between illustration and painting

The Eclectic Light Company

Walter Crane (1845–1915) was one of the most popular, most prolific, and most influential illustrators of children’s books. An enthusiastic fan of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, he was a close friend of William Morris, a key member of the Arts and Crafts movement, and an overt and active Socialist.

His career in illustration began in 1863, when Edmund Evans employed him to illustrate ‘toy books’ for children, and he continued to create book illustrations until after 1900. In the later years, he extended his repertoire to include special editions of the Faerie Queene, a volume of Arthurian legends, and a book about the New Forest.

However his career in painting had started when his first work had been accepted by the Royal Academy in 1862, and he continued to paint independently of his illustrations, later making several murals. In addition to landscapes, he painted narrative works, but before considering a selection…

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