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Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy$
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Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190610050

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610050.001.0001

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The Mirror Crack’d

The Mirror Crack’d

Fractured Classicisms in the Pre-Raphaelites and Victorian Illustration

(p.63) 3 The Mirror Crack’d
Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy

Genevieve S. Gessert

Oxford University Press

Genevieve Gessert, in “The Mirror Crack’d: Fractured Classicisms in the Pre-Raphaelites and Victorian Illustration,” examines how Pre-Raphaelite artists and subsequent Victorian illustrators incorporated the ‘classical’ into the development of what became modern fantasy’s dominant visual style, seemingly ‘medieval’ but really a hybridization of the ‘medieval’ and the ‘classical.’ Gessert traces the evolution of the style and content of late Victorian illustration, taking as her primary example the drawings of Henry Justice Ford, the main illustrator of Andrew Lang’s Coloured Fairy Book series. In problematizing how we look at periodization in the visual arts, Gessert affects how we understand modern fantasy narrative, since the illustrations she considers helped inspire such enormously influential authors as Tolkien and Lewis.

Keywords:   Art history, Ford, Henry Justice, Lang, Andrew, Pre-Raphaelite art, Victorian illustration

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