Sunday, October 28, 2018

Arthur Rackham: Hey! Up the Chimney, Lass!

The original 1907 frontispiece illustration by Arthur Rackham to the Rev. R. H. Barham's The Ingoldsby Legends shows a gaggle of witches flying up out of a chimney. Rackham uses an S-shaped composition to convey the  spiralling upward sweep of the witches. He makes sure to put the pretty witch dead center where we can see her. Rackham demonstrates careful control over the forms of the witches, but allows himself uncharacteristic freedom in rendering the fanciful anatomy of the black cats.

The Chris Beetles Gallery sold this spectacular illustration in 2004 for an impressive 65,000 GBP. The work has come back to the gallery for another go, but anyone who hopes to snag it this time around should take note that the price has doubled.

Arthur Rackham
Hey! Up the Chimney, Lass! Hey After You!
Rev. R. H. Barham, The Ingoldsby Legends, 1907

Arthur Rackham
Chris Beetles Gallery Listing Retrieved October 27, 2018

Note:  The 2004 sale price is referenced in the Antiques Trade Gazette here.

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