’The Child of Elle’
Artist: John Franklin (flourished 1800-61)
Engraver: T. Williams
9 ¾ x 7 inches
Illustration for The Books of British Ballads (1842), p.66. The illustration typifies the use of rustic motifs combined with medieval and mythological figures that were derived German illustration of the 1830s and '40s, notably appearing in Rethel’s designs for Das Nibelungenlied (1840). The example here is a particularly extravagant use of the rustic motif in which it becomes a main feature of the composition, converted from a decorative device into a central part of the visual narrative. Franklin is a little known and important practitioner of the ‘Germanic style’.
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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke
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