Rudyard Kipling, who received the Nobel prize for literature in 1907, was the son of an art teacher and the nephew of two of the greatest late Victorian painters -- Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Sir Edward Poynter. Like W. M. Thackeray, he created illustrations for his written work, but whereas the author of Vanity Fair worked in a style characteristic of early Victorian illustrators close to the tradition of caricature, Kipling's work reveals the influence of Aubrey Beardsley and other artists of the '90s and after. The large interrupted areas of black and white in "The Cat that Walked by Himself" and "The Whale looking for the little 'Stute Fish" show the obvious influence of Beardsley, whose style emphasizes the characteristic strengths of the photographic reproductive processes that replaced the wood engraving of earlier Victorian illustration. Both "The Whale swallowing the Mariner" and "The Animal that came out of the sea" resemble the work of Sidney Sime, Lord Dunsany's illustrator. In fact, the illustrations to the Just So Stories reveal a very eclectic Kipling: The influence of Japanese prints appears in the composition of "The Parsee beginning to eat his cake" -- an influence frequently found in the illustrations of his contemporary W. Heath Robinson; Kipling's page decoration for "The Elephant's Child" resembles European and American folk motifs, and that for "How the Rhinoceros got his Skin" is an obvious borrowing from Navajo art.
- Title page of Just-So Stories
- Layout and Kipling's commentary
- Page decoration for "How the Whale got his Throat"
- "The Whale swallowing the Mariner"
- "How the Whale got his Throat"
- Page decoration for "How the Camel got his Hump"
- "The Djinn making the Camel's Hump"
- The Djinn in charge of All Deserts
- Page decoration for "How the Rhinoceros got his Skin"
- The Parsee beginning to eat his cake
- Parsee Pestonjee Bomonjee sitting in his palm- tree
- Wise Baviann, the dog-headed Baboon
- The Leopard and the Ethiopian
- Page decoration for "The Elephant's Child"
- The Elephant's Child having his nose pulled
- The Elephant's Child pulling bananas off a banana-tree
- An inciting map of the Turbid Amazon
- The story of Taffimai Metallumai carved on an old tusk
- Page decoration for "The Crab that Played with the Sea"
- The Eldest Magician talking to the Man and his Daughter
- Pau Amma the Crab rising out of the Sea
- Decorated capital "H"
- The Cat that Walked by Himself
- Decorated capital "T"
- The Animal that came out of the sea
Kipling, Rudyard. Just So Stories for Little Children. Illustrated by the Author. London: Macmillan, 1926.
Last modified 19 February 2005