Tuesday, 20 November 2012


The Chris Beetles Gallery's annual The Illustrators exhibition is claimed to be the world's biggest single event for fans and collectors of cartoons and illustrations and this year features a staggering 800+ works ranging across three centuries of memorable British art.

Many of my favourite artists are generously featured in the exhibition, among them John Tenniel via E H Shepard, Ronald Searle, Eric Fraser, Charles Keeping to Anthony Browne, but perhaps the most delightful aspect is the bicentennial tribute to the genius of Charles Dickens: a collection of almost 60 pieces of art illustrating what are among the greatest novels in the English language featuring some of the most engaging characters – comic, scary, sentimental – to engage the imaginations of generations of readers.

Here are just a few...

Mervyn Peake - Bleak House

  Edward Ardizzone - David Copperfield

H M Brock - The Cricket on the Hearth

Ron Embleton - The PIckwick Papers

Eric Fraser - A Child's History of England

Harry Furniss - The Old Curiosity Shop

Harry Furniss - Oliver Twist

Ronald Searle - A Christmas Carol

Arthur Rackham - A Christmas Carol

Ron Embleton - A Christmas Carol

Claude Shepperson - The Haunted Man

J F H Bacon - Dombey & Son

The Illustrators 2012: The British Art of Illustration 1837-2012 remains on show at Chris Beetles Gallery until 3 January 2013

8 & 10 Ryder Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6QB
Telephone: 020 7839 7551

Gallery Opening Times: 
Monday - Saturday, 10:00 - 17:30

Accompanying the exhibition is a 272-page catalogue with over 400 full colour images, which – for £20 – is both an engaging anthology of great illustrative art and a lasting record of an immensely impressive show.

Above illustration: 'Charles Dickens: A Tribute to Genius' by Stephen Reid


Boll Weavil said...

How can there be no comments on these ? A parade of some of the finest illustrators of the last century and a half. Searle and Rackham are my favourites but its a tough call.

Stephen Jarvis said...

I came across this entry on your blog some time ago, and I made a note to leave a comment here in 2015. I thought you might be interested in hearing that I have written a novel, Death and Mr Pickwick, which will be published in May by Jonathan Cape of the Random House Group, which explores the creation and history of The Pickwick Papers. The illustration of The Pickwick Papers is the most important aspect of my novel, and indeed the main character is Pickwick’s first illustrator Robert Seymour. Further information can be found at:
Ron Embleton’s picture of Mr Pickwick sliding on ice, which you have featured here, is one of many, many illustrations of Pickwick which appeared after the original serial publication. The Pickwick Papers must surely be the most illustrated book in the history of English literature. I like Embleton’s picture, but I do wish he had made Mr Pickwick a bit fatter!
Best wishes
Stephen Jarvis