Frank C. Pape

Frank C. Pape classic illustration

Frank C. Pape classic illustration

Frank Cheyne Papé was an English illustrator active in the early 20th century. He worked in both monochrome and color. His style varied from naturalistic to fantastic to comic, and he sometimes mixed those approaches within a series of illustrations for a single volume.

Papé is not as well known as many of his contemporaries who worked in the latter part of the time known as the “golden age” of illustration, and little is known of his life.

There are some resources online for his work, and there are reprints of books he illustrated currently in print as well as available from used book sources.

The best bio I can find is the one by Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr. on his JVJ Publishing resource about illustrators.


Eye Candy for Today: Constable graphite drawing

View of Cat Hanger, John Constable landscape pencil drawing

View of Cat Hanger, John Constable landscape pencil drawing

View of Cat Hanger, John Constable

Graphite on paper, roughly 8 x 14″ (20 x35 cm), in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum.

Drawn on two sheets of a sketchbook, this scene is of a farm on an estate in West Sussex, England. Constable’s nuanced command of tones and delicate indications of clouds and textures makes the drawing feel remarkably complete.


Happy Leyendecker Baby New Year 2019!

Happy Leyendecker Baby New Year from Lines and Colors!

Happy Leyendecker Baby New Year from Lines and Colors!

As has become my tradition every December 31st for the last 13 years, I’ll wish Lines and Colors readers a Happy New Year with some of J.C. Leyendecker’s wonderful Saturday Evening Post New Years covers.

American illustrator J.C. Leyendecker set our modern conception of representing the new year as a baby, with the use of a New Years baby to welcome in 1908. He continued the practice every year into the 1940s, usually incorporating topics of the day into his interpretation of the baby.

Here’s hoping you all have a great new year, filled with lots of great art and inspiration!



Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot Impressionist paintings

Berthe Morisot Impressionist paintings

Berthe Morisot (pronunciation here) is one of the least well known of the original Impressionist painters. She is often grouped with American painter Mary Cassatt as one of the two “female Impressionists”. It is a comparison that makes sense, though, in that both painters brought intimate domestic scenes into the Impressionist canon, as well as painting still life, landscapes and scenes of public life as was more common among their colleagues.

Morisot studied with several painters, notably Camille Corot and, informally, with Edouard Manet. She would become lifelong friends with Manet, and eventually married his brother, Eugène Manet.

Morisot was successfully exhibiting in the Salon — the official juried show of the French art establishment — and could have continued to do so, but joined instead with the “rejected artist” Impressionists for their independent exhibitions, from the first one onward.

Little is known of Morisot’s early style, as she was so critical of her own work that she destroyed most of what she did during her training years. She was experimental, working with pastel, watercolor and oil, and exploring variations in the Impressionist style later in her career.

She experimented with leaving parts of her canvas unfinished, giving many of her works a casual, informal appeal. Though she was influenced by her Impressionist colleagues, she was also an influence on them, and was highly regarded for her subtle color and innovative compositions.

Personally, I find her early landscapes particularly appealing, with their free brushwork over a firm foundation of drawing, an approach that shows the influence of Corot. Her figures and domestic scenes also have a combined feeling of strong composition and loose, gestural handling.

For those in the Philadelphia area, the Barnes Foundation is hosting an extensive exhibition of Morisot’s work, “Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist“, that continues until January 14, 2019.

The exhibition is excellent, with a broad overview of Morisot’s work and beautiful examples, well annotated. With the exception of two pieces, photography is permitted.

(A note about visiting the Barnes: The Barnes Foundation is one of the more expensive museums in the Philadelphia area, and admission prices may seem prohibitive to some, but the museum does have a monthly free access day that is not widely publicized: Free First Sunday Family Day is open to all, not just families. It starts at 10:00 am instead of the usual 11:00 opening time, and it’s best to get there early. The next one is on January 6, 2019, at which time the Morisot show will still be on display.)


J.C. Leyendecker cover illustration for American Weekly

Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Cover illustration for American Weekly, December 19, 1948; J.C. Leyendecker

Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Cover illustration for American Weekly, December 19, 1948; J.C. Leyendecker (details)

Cover illustration for American Weekly, December 19, 1948; J.C. Leyendecker

Link is to Heritage Auctions sold lots. Accessing the full high-res image requires a free account, but there is a somewhat smaller version on Tumblr here.

At first I thought that this was Leyendecker’s take on the popular song, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, but the illustration was published in 1948, and the song was apparently first recorded and released in 1952.

Whether the magazine cover influenced the writing of the song is difficult to say, but it seems to me a likely scenario.

This feels like it was quickly realized by the standard of many of Leyendecker’s other illustrations, but is still shows his superb draftsmanship, and characteristic stylized fabric folds and rendering of hair.


Peder Mønsted winter landscape

Snowy Forest Road in Sunlight, Peder Mork Monsted

Snowy Forest Road in Sunlight, Peder Mork Monsted, details

Snowy Forest Road in Sunlight, Peder Mørk Mønsted

The link is to a page on Wikimedia Commons from which you can download a high-resolution image. The original is in a private collection.

A beautiful evocation of winter to mark the Winter Solstice. I love how much green and red Monsted has worked into the painting. He has kept the chroma muted and relied on the effects of simultaneous contrast of the complementary colors to make them feel vibrant.

For more, see my previous posts on Peder Mønsted.