Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October Illustrator: Sidney Sime

"There's something those fellows catch - beyond life - that they're able to make us catch for a second. Doré had it. Sime has it. Angarola of Chicago has it. And Pickman had it as no man ever had it - or I hope to Heaven - ever will again." 
H.P. Lovecraft, Pickman's Model, 1927 
 The Soul of Andelsprutz - 1910
I discovered Sidney Sime a couple of years ago, through this exquisite and very complete post on Monster Brains. It's weird that it took me so long, as I the authors he worked with are some of my favorites. I mean, Lovecraft name-checks him, and Sime's work fulfills all the elements I love in illustration - that other-worldliness, that expression of something "beyond life".
It - 1911
Born poor in Manchester in 1867, Sime worked for five years in the coal mines before making his way to art school. He rose quickly as an illustrator of fantastic themes, just as such stories were becoming wildly popular. In 1904, he began the partnership with Lord Dunsany that would define his legacy. The most complete collection of Sime's work can still be seen, by appointment, at Dunsany Castle in County Meath, Ireland.
The City of Never - 1911

Romance Comes Down Out of Hilly Woodlands - 1910

I'd love to see some reproductions of these books published as they were in the early 20th century. Until then, I'll be combing the shelves for the illustrated Dover editions.

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