The Age of Enchantment

Beardsley, Dulac and their Contemporaries 1890-1930

Rodney Engen

    ISBN: 978 1 85759 523 9

    Size: 280 x 240 mm / 9.5 x 11 in.

    Binding: softcover

    Pages: 160

    In association with:

    Date published: November, 2007

    UK £25 /US $45


  • Includes works from public and private collections – some not seen before
  • Features furniture, tapestries, ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, posters as well as watercolours and drawings
  • Reveals the high degree of imagination and craftsmanship which permeated children’s illustration of this period


With the death of Aubrey Beardsley in 1898, the world of the illustrated book underwent a dramatic and exciting change. A new generation of artist-illustrators emerged, intent upon borrowing from the past, especially the fantasies of the rococo and the ethereal fairy worlds of the Victorians, as well as drawing increasingly on the lavish colour of the Ballets Russes, the modern design aesthetic of Art Deco, and rich decorative influences of the British Empire. Beginning with the fin de siècle masterpieces of Beardsley, and concluding with the late imperial exotica of the inter-war era, The Age of Enchantment reveals the fascinating and delightful world of British fantasy illustration over four decades. It includes the masters of this new form, Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen and Arthur Rackham, and their many disciples and influences: Laurence Housman, Charles Ricketts, Sidney Sime, Harry Clarke, Bernard Sleigh, Jessie King, Annie French, Charles Robinson, Maurice and Edward Detmold, Willy Pogany, Alastair, Leon Bakst, Daisy Makeig-Jones and Sir Frank Brangwyn.

Author information

Rodney Engen has written extensively on British art, graphics and illustration as well as having curated exhibitions on the subject in Britain, Japan and the United States. He curated the hugely popular Arthur Rackham show at Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2002.