Monday, September 28, 2015

Before Winnie the Pooh: when EH Shepard was a war artist

From 'Shepard's War' Credit: The Shepard Trust

Not many illustrators fill the bookshelves of British children quite like EH Shepard. His warm, witty and guileless illustrations for AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books have passed into our collective consciousness. Equally loved are his illustrations for Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, which show the same feather-light mastery of line, humour, character and gesture that distils the essence of childhood happiness in just a few swoops of a brush.
Shepard’s expansive visual imagining of the riverbank and the Hundred Acre Wood, created in the aftermath of the First World War, harks back to a bygone era of golden Edwardian summers.Although he is best known for his children’s illustrations, before he ever met Piglet or Pooh Shepard was working successfully as a cartoonist, illustrator and military officer.

EH Shepard illustration
Officer (to wounded Irish soldier): 'So you want me to read your girl's letter to you?' Pat: 'Sure, sir, and as it's rather private will you please stuff some cotton wool in yer ears while ye read it?' Credit: The Shepard Trust 


No comments: