Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Arthur Szyk: The Canterbury Tales
Arthur Szyk (1894-1951) was a graphic artist, book illustrator, stage designer, and caricaturist. He was Jewish, born in Poland, and all his life he worked both for his homeland and his faith. Before World War Two his work was renowned in Poland, France, and Great Britain; after he moved to the USA his work became truly popular for his scathing caricatures of the Axis leaders Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito. His work was characterized by a rejection of modernism and its embrace of Medieval and Renaissance traditions, especially illuminated manuscripts. He illustrated such traditional works as Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, the Haggadah, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a selection of whose pilgims are shown here.