Modern Art - Golden Age of Illustration

Movement: Modern Art - Golden Age of Illustration
Dates: c. 1880 - c. 1940

From the early 1800s newspapers, mass-market magazines, and illustrated books had become the dominant consumer media in Europe and the New World. By the 19th century, improvements in printing technology freed illustrators to experiment with color and rendering techniques. These developments in printing effected all areas of literature from cookbooks, photography and travel guides, as well as children's books. Also, due to advances in printing, it became more affordable to produce color photographs within books and other materials. By 1900, almost 100 percent of paper was machine-made, and while a person working by hand could produce 60-100lbs of paper per day, mechanization yielded around 1,000lbs per day. Additionally, in the 50 year period between 1846 and 1916, book production increased 400% and the price of books was cut in half.

In Europe, Golden Age illustrators were largely influenced by such art movements as the Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts and Les Nabis. Leading illustrators included Walter Crane, Edmund Dulac, Aubrey Beardsley, Arthur Rackham and Kay Nielsen.

In America, this led to a "golden age of illustration" from before the 1880s until the early 20th century. A small group of illustrators became highly successful, with the imagery they created considered a portrait of American aspirations of the time. Among the best-known illustrators of that period were N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle of the Brandywine School, James Montgomery Flagg, Elizabeth Shippen Green, J. C. Leyendecker, Violet Oakley, Maxfield Parrish, Jessie Willcox Smith, and John Rea Neill.

See also

  • Association of Illustrators
  • Association of Medical Illustrators
  • Comic book illustration
  • Communication design
  • Graphic design
  • Illustrators
  • Institute of Medical Illustrators
  • Posters
  • Society of Illustrators


External links

  • Media related to Illustrations at Wikimedia Commons
  • Quotations related to Illustration at Wikiquote

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