16 September 2010

Dark Beauty


Harry Clarke, born in 1889, was an Irish stained glass artist and illustrator whose seductively intricate and atmospheric works really do capture the imagination.  His work as an illustrator was actually mainly produced in the form of book illustration, and I thought I would share some of the monotone pieces from his work for an edition of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination.  The book is a spine-chilling journey through the dark and macabre recesses of the author's mind, compiling 29 stories, both well-known and rare, which are deftly illustrated with an attention to detail that truly awes the reader.

Whilst Clarke is perhaps better known for his colourful and highly detailed stained glass work, it is the dark and grotesque visions he conjured for Poe's work that really fascinates me.  Looking at illustrations such as these I do often wonder what Clarke would have been like as a fashion designer, or indeed as a fashion illustrator.  The immense detail of the prints and careful drapery of the fabrics he adorns his figures with are delightfully magical and opulent.  I can only wish that he had created a couture collection in his time using such amazing work as this.  There is something so beautifully romantic about his illustrations, as morbid as they are, and I find them truly inspiring.     

(Scans via Flickr)

Currently playing: Rachel's Song - Vangelis

xxxx

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting these. Very inspirational. It would be interesting to see an editorial based off these, or redrawn with current designers like Gareth Pugh, Etro, or the defunct Cloak.

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  2. I'm a sucker for immense detailing in any kind of art form so naturally I'm loving these illustrations. Especially that last image... wowzers. Thanks for sharing Syed!

    - Anna Jane xxx
    (PixelatedBlonde.com)

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  3. these have a weird last 80s early 90s computer game illustration vibe too them, he was way way ahead of time!

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  4. these have a weird last 80s early 90s computer game illustration vibe too them, he was way way ahead of time!

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  5. i love him! he's very much like aubrey beardsley, one of my favorites. i've noticed spooky posts popping up, we must all be looking forward to autumn..
    xo s!

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  6. I had never heard about him... thank you so much for posting, I feel I learned something. Interesting pictures.

    xoxo

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