Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E , Case MB4R, Shelf I, Box 132

Elder Mother Tree

Print
1932 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Arthur Rackham trained at the Lambeth School of Art. He gained experience from a young age as an illustrator by working for the 'Westminster Budget' and other magazines. He worked mainly as an illustrator to Children's books. From the early twentieth century Rackham developed a talent for portraying witches and fairies by employing vivid characterization, which often has an underlying sense of horror. These illustration effectively incorporate fine outlines with a pale palette to create the feeling of another world.

Magical transformation is a common subject in fairy tales. The delicately tinted watercolour illustration to the fairytale 'The Elder Mother Tree' (1845) by Hans Christian Anderson (1805-75) depicts the moment when the Elder Mother appears in an elderflower tree which sprouts from a teapot.Elder trees have long been associated with fairy mythology, and were thought to protect against evil spirits.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional Titles
  • In the midst of the tree stood a kindly looking woman (generic title)
  • Fairy Tales (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Pen and ink and watercolour on paper laid on to card
Brief Description
Illustration for "Elder Mother Tree" from Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales, Arthur Rackham, pen and ink and watercolour, 1932.
Physical Description
Pen and ink and watercolour illustration to "The Elder Mother Tree". The watercolour in fine washes of greens with red, pink and black, shows the Elder Mother as an elderly woman at the moment that she appears in an elder tree, growing out of a teapot.
Dimensions
  • Height: 38.3cm
  • Width: 28.6cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • "Arthur Rackham" (inscribed in green in the bottom left corner.)
  • "92" "5 x 9" "13 / 1957" "91" "4" (These numbers are inscribed in pencil outisde the drawn frame around the watercolour in the bottom right corner.)
Credit line
Brigadier W. E. Clark
Object history
Bequeathed by Brigadier W. E. Clark in 1969.
Historical context
The works of the Danish author of children's stories Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) were already popular in England by the time of his first visit in 1847, and remain much read.
Summary
Arthur Rackham trained at the Lambeth School of Art. He gained experience from a young age as an illustrator by working for the 'Westminster Budget' and other magazines. He worked mainly as an illustrator to Children's books. From the early twentieth century Rackham developed a talent for portraying witches and fairies by employing vivid characterization, which often has an underlying sense of horror. These illustration effectively incorporate fine outlines with a pale palette to create the feeling of another world.



Magical transformation is a common subject in fairy tales. The delicately tinted watercolour illustration to the fairytale 'The Elder Mother Tree' (1845) by Hans Christian Anderson (1805-75) depicts the moment when the Elder Mother appears in an elderflower tree which sprouts from a teapot.Elder trees have long been associated with fairy mythology, and were thought to protect against evil spirits.
Collection
Accession Number
E.170-1969

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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