Tuesday, March 7, 2023

E.H. Shepard meets E.A. Abbey

Pen illustration by E.A. Abbey 

When Ernest H. Shepard (1879-1976) was a young, aspiring artist, he dreamed of meeting the reigning king of pen-and-ink illustration, Edwin A. Abbey (1852-1911).

E.H. Shepard, illustration for A.A. Milne

Shepard first met Abbey while a student at the Royal Academy Schools, but he also went to meet the master painter and pen draughtsman in his studio:

"Abbey was already one of the world's most distinguished artists, but it was his incomparable illustrations in line to Old English Songs, and the Comedies of Shakespeare, which made him the outstanding idol of all young illustrators of his time. Shepard acknowledges his deep gratitude to Abbey, who showed him what black and white work really meant. All of us knew Abbey's enchanting work can easily understand the influence which it had on Shepard's own graceful talent. That influence has remained. Shepard's line has always been delicate and sensitive, and his feeling for atmosphere especially notable. Abbey was most generous in his encouragement, and, selecting one of the young man's drawings, insisted on sending it to Punch, with a strong recommendation. That drawing was accepted, and Shepard began to add a very pleasant chapter to the history of illustration."

Shepard would later become the beloved illustrator of Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner.

Wikipedia on E.H. Shepard and E.A. Abbey 

Quote from The Artist Magazine, May 1941 (Thanks, James W.

Books: The Drawings of E.A. Abbey and The Work of E.H. Shepard

No comments: