Tuesday, 29 January 2008


As last week’s Extra helping of Stapling went so well, here’s another. This weekend, with my lovely parents down for a couple of days, we decided to go to Dulwich Picture Gallery to see an exhibition on the ‘Golden Age of Illustration’. And it was one of the best exhibitions I’ve ever seen. I’ve been a fan of Dulac’s illustrations for a while now, but for me it was the intricate, miniature and trippy pen-and-ink Beardsleys that were the highlight. The one pictured above was described as a portrait of the Abbé, drawn "to represent the heady lines of the true aesthete: 'The place where he stood waved drowsily with strange flowers, heavy with perfume, dripping with odours. Gloomy and nameless weeds, not to be found in Mentzelius. Huge moths, so richly winged they must have banqueted upon tapestries and royal stuffs, slept on the pillars and flanked either side of the gateway, the eyes of all the moths remained open and were burning and bursting with a mesh of veins.'" The rest of the gorgeous illustrations were accompanied by similarly poetic, beautiful and adjective-heavy prose. Truly one of the loveliest collections I've ever encountered, in the positively idyllic setting of Dulwich village, I can't recommend it highly enough. Get yourself down there before it ends on 17 February, it's well worth the trip, especially in the company of one's aesthetically-appreciating parents...

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