Sunday, March 30, 2014

Illustrations by Pauline Baynes

The Chronicles of Narnia are among the most influential books of my childhood and continue to shape me profoundly, but I did not fall deeply under Pauline Baynes', the Narnia illustrator's, influence until I was in college.  I remember walking around my college campus and seeing her lines in all the trees, especially in newly planted birch trees and dwarf crabapples with their bright clustered fruit. I don't remember what triggered my awakening to Pauline Baynes. Possibly it was the trees that did it. 

Here is an end sheet of  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe showing Narnia's first spring after the White Witch's long winter. I love the rolling hills; the delicacy of feathers, fur and leaves; and the tiny distant trees and waterfalls.



She illustrated for Tolkien before Lewis.  There were plans for her to illustrate The Lord of the Rings, but that work just grew too big. 

Here are a few illustrations for his smaller works. I love the precise, delicate, graceful lines. There is enough detail to fully engage but not so much that I feel overwhelmed and confused. (Aunt Deanna, I hope you like these lovely line drawings. Thank you for your wonderful "comment" via real mail!)






These rare Baynes prints of the four seasons in medieval style please me profoundly. Why ever are they not in print anymore? I wish I could show them bigger, but they're as big as I could make them. 



All this art and more I found at Pauline Baynes.com. Click here to see her work table and the view from her window.              

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