Our Pre-Raph Gang

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Topsy and Ned Compare Sketches






One of the very first Pre-Raphaelite cartoons I drew in my sketchbook (if not the first!), just beause I wanted to see Topsy and Ned have a conversation. This was partly based on something I read in Josceline Dimbleby's book, "May and Amy" (which is the American title) which concerns Dimbleby's great-grandmother May and her romantic friendship with Edward Burne-Jones.

Ned wrote in a letter to his friend May comparing his and his friend William Morris' working styles as they sat together working on pages for what would become known as the Kelmscott Chaucer:

"All the time Morris is designing his borders here on Sunday morning one hears his teeth almost gnashing-- at least gnattering and grinding together... and when I (your poor friend) work I hold my breath, and when the stroke or touch is over I  have to sigh heavily so that anyone hearing would think I was unhappy-- and yet both I suppose are to steady the hand-- but isn't it strange."

The Kelmscott Chaucer, one of the most beautifully designed books of all time,
with borders by Morris and illustrations by Burne-Jones. Ned called it a
"pocket cathedral" when it was done.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Raine, I really love your sketches (especially the originals, more than inked in, but that's just me)and you have been instrumental more times than one in making me laugh out loud in the Public Library! They would make great tee shirts and calico eco-bags, you should definitely approach Tate Britain and V&A, such original work deserves to be out there. And hopefully a book when there's more! All the best.

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