And so we come to the third and final installment of the Best of ‘The Snow Queen’ Art, and we definitely are going out with a bang.
Our first featured artist is Adrienne Ségur, a French illustrator most active in the mid-20th century and best known for her work on The Golden Book of Fairy Tales. Speaking of which, Terri Windling has a lovely tribute to that book (and Ségur herself) here. Although she came onto the scene during the tail end of illustration’s Golden Age, Ségur’s art feels fresh and contemporary.
Anastasia Arkhipova is a Russian illustrator, and that’s all I know about her.
Edmund Dulac, like Arthur Rackham, really needs no introduction, but I’ll provide one anyway. A French and English Golden Age artist, he was a prolific book and magazine illustrator and even designed paper currency and postage stamps during World War II.
Emily Balivet is a contemporary painter and illustrator with a focus on feminine spirituality and divinity.
Esther Simpson is largely a mystery to me, but she seems to have been an exemplar of the late Art Deco style. I’m not sure where I first encountered this piece, but it really struck me for its unusual choice of depicting the Snow Queen as nude (or nearly nude anyway); moreover, I do not believe it was ever used as a book illustration and appears to have been a stand-alone piece. Whatever the case, it is an elegantly beautiful representation of these characters.
Anne Anderson was another Golden Age illustrator, albeit a minor one. Her artwork is reminiscent of Charles Robinson and especially Jessie M. King.
Polina Yakovleva (a.k.a. Smokepaint) is a contemporary Russian illustrator who works in both traditional and digital media.
New York City native Julia Griffin has a heavy but nicely textured style, but what I really like about her art is her tendency to present the scenes she depicts from odd angles, lending dramatic effect to her illustrations. The following piece is a prime example.
Jérémie Fleury’s work can be seen most prominently at DeviantArt, where he operates under the name Trefle-Rouge. I think this illustration may be the most spot-on in terms of capturing the loneliness and desolation of Kai’s predicament.
Arthur Szyk is another star of the Golden Age of illustration. A Polish-born Jew, Szyk was a sensitive, socio-politically conscious artist who escaped Nazi Germany by emigrating to England during the start of WWII. He later moved to the United States, where he remained for most of his life.
Yvonne Gilbert has won awards for her design and illustration, including The World’s Most Beautiful Stamp and the Golden Stamp Award for her Nativity-themed stamp designs of the mid 1980s. The following example, a theatrical poster, is a nice throwback to those classic Art Nouveau posters.
And at last we arrive at my absolute favorite illustrations for this story, those of Estonian artist Vladislav Erko (or Yerko, as I’ve sometimes seen it spelled). Despite the cold, grim promise of a story set almost entirely during a Scandinavian winter, Erko fills his drawings with vibrant colors and luxurious textures, making for a joyous and inviting set of images.
This next image was my computer wallpaper for awhile.
And the final image–to bring it round full circle–is by Charles Robinson.