Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Walter Crane - A Goose Girl

signed with monogram
17 x 15 3/4"

Art Journal, Easter 1898, pp. 7-8

"My sister made a translation of about half the 'Hallsmarchen' of the brothers Grimm, and this, with about a dozen full-page designs as well as headings, initial letters, and tail-pieces to each story, was published in 1881. The drawings were done about a third larger, and all were photographed upon wood and engraved by Messrs. Swain.

The design of The Goose Girl was seen at the time by my friend, the late William Morris, when I was at work in my studio one day - He called to ask me to do him a design capable of being worked in arras tapestry, which he was at that time practically engaged in reviving. He saw this design of the Goose Girl, and taking a fancy to it, asked me to reproduce it as a large colour cartoon, 8 feet by 6 feet, which I accordingly did; and it was duly worked out by him and his assistants as a tapestry. The cartoon afterwards was exhibited in the Grosvenor Gallery at a Winter Exhibition of decorative designs. It therefore has a dual existence as a black and white book illustration and also as a tapestry."

This is a watercolour sketch for the woodblock illustrating the story of The Goose Girl in the 1882 edition of 'Household Stories from the collection of The Brother's Grimm' published by Macmillan & Co, containing eleven full page designs. In the book a decorative semi-architectural border contained the inscription:

'0 wind, blow Conads hat away,
And make him follow as it flies,
While I with my gold hair will play
And bind it up in seemly wise.'

The large cartoon for the tapestry is in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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