The first Fable Friday feature is Golden Age artist Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (1871-1945), an English artist known for her book illustrations and paintings. At the beginning of the century she was one of the first women artists to compete with male illustrators given her versatile strength in oil painting, watercolour, stained glass design and book illustration. As artist G.F. Watts declared: “I feel inclined to throw away my palette and brushes. What are my things by the side of such stuff as hers?”

Considered one of the last Pre-Raphaelites, her work involved idealised and romantic imagery of the medieval period, in high detail and lush settings. As a book illustrator, Fortescue-Brickdale had a large output working on children's books and poetry. She was also a teacher at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London and lived opposite Frederic Leighton (another art hero of mine!). Her stained glass work can still be seen today in Bristol Cathedral and Brixham. 

Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale
Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale
Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale


1. The Deceitfulness of Richness, 1901, Oil on canvas. 
2. Merlin and Vivien, 1910-1911, Watercolour on paper
3. Guinevere, 1913, Watercolour on paper
4. Illustration for 'Poems' by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1905
5. Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, c. 1900

[Fable Fridays is a weekly segment where I showcase a fairytale, artist or anything else worthy of attention.]


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