Pen and black ink and watercolor with scraping and minute touches of white gouache
Support: Artist’s illustration board
Sheet: 38.6 x 27 cm (15 3/16 x 10 5/8 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Don Hunter 1954.651
Arthur Rackham was one of the first book illustrators to take advantage of color halftone printing, augmenting his ink drawings with subtle washes of transparent hues.
This drawing is one of 40 made by Arthur Rackham to illustrate William Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. It depicts the confrontation between Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies, that takes place in the woods outside of Athens in act 2, scene 1. The artist painted a stormy sky looming over the magical couple to echo the story's mood. Rackham worked during a golden age of book illustration in England, around the turn of the 20th century, and the images he produced for literary works influenced future productions of Shakespeare's work.
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