“Helen,” by Edmund J. Sullivan
by Polina Vinogradova
Edmund J. Sullivan (1869—1993) was a British artist who specialized in book illustration. Sullivan is perhaps most well-known for the 79 illustrations he created for the 1898 edition of Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor ResartusEdmund J. Sullivan, Illustrator (1869-1933). A year prior to this publication, Sullivan produced a series of four full-page images (I. “Helen”, II. “The Sorceress”, III. “The Couch”, IV. “The Mirror”) for the 13th, and final, volume of The Yellow Book . The first image in this series depicts a woman in an intricately designed gown. The woman’s hands are carefully posed on her lap. Her puffed sleeves and tightly corseted waist are embellished with a row of hearts. The confident-looking woman sits in front of what appears to be a mirror. Sullivan’s signature is scribbled on the bottom right section of the illustration.
Sullivan, Edmund J. “Helen” The Yellow Book 13 (April 1897): 229. The Yellow Nineties Online. Ed. Dennis Dennisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Ryerson University, 2014. Web. [29 January 2017].
“Club Types,” by H. Maxwell Beerbohm
by Mark Sardella
This image, from the November 1892 issue of Strand Magazine, is the second part of a three-part series of pen-and-ink sketches by H. Maxwell Beerbohm called “Club Types.”
All three instalments used the same format, placing a caricature of a typical gentlemen’s club member over the name of a club. While some clubs grouped together members of a certain political party or social circle, other clubs brought together men (and later women) of similar occupations or interests. This installment is particularly interesting because of the many occupation and interest-based clubs it features.
Green Room (top left), for example, brought together actors, which is represented by the caricature’s chesty posture and wide-legged stance, while Athenaeum (bottom right) brought together academics in the sciences, which is hinted at by the caricature’s large head and pensive expression. Isthmian (top centre) brought together rowers and cricketers, as signified by the caricature’s more casual attire and maybe even the beer in his hand. Next to Isthmian, Bachelors’ (top right) brought together young unmarried men as its name suggests. The caricature’s constraining, fashionable dress appears so tight that his posture is modified, which might be exposing Beerbohm’s opinions of the fit of the latest men’s fashions sported by bachelors.
Lastly, St. Stephen’s (middle left) and Constitutional (middle right) were political clubs (visually connected by their hats), while Marlborough (middle centre), Corinthian (bottom left), and Savile (bottom centre) serviced a particularly wealthy set, as represented by their polished hairstyles and haughty postures.
Beerbohm, H. Maxwell. “Club Types.” Strand Magazine, vol. 4, no. 23, 1892, pp. 547. Internet Archive, archive.org/details/StrandMagazine23.
“Portraits de Nos Contemporains”
by Alexis MacNeil
This illustration, entitled “Portraits de Nos Contemporains” was done by the painter and poet James Marrion (also known as Gellet Burgess), the editor and creator of Le Petit Journal des Refusées. Printed on July 1, 1896, this image can be found in the first and final edition of this journal.
Originally printed on wallpaper cut that was then cut into the shape of a butterfly wing, the image taken from the journal appears on an irregular shaped page. The image itself is contained within a slightly angled rectangle, outlined by a thin black line. In the center of the main rectangle is a smaller irregular rectangle which is further divided into four smaller rectangles by two wide lines that cross over each other. This produces an image much like a window pane, with a cross in the center of four windows. When you look at the four panes as a whole, they look to complete a portrait of a man. However, under closer inspection, each pane contains the image of a different man. In the middle of the cross the title of the image is written. In the top left hand rectangular pane, the background is very dark being filled with a cross-stitch of black ink. It also contains the right eye and forehead of a man with a distinct coiffe in his hair. The top right rectangular pane is similar to the left side, as it contains a dark background and the left eye and forehead of a hand. However, this man’s eye is covered with a spectacle glass and his hair is perfectly parted and smoothed down. The bottom left pane contains the chin and upper body of a man who is clean shaven and dressed in a shirt and overcoat. It is not clear whether the clothing is formal or not. In the bottom right pane, there is also the chin and upper body of a man. This man is not clean shaven however, as he is sporting what looks to be a burly mustache. He is also wearing a high collard shirt, a tie and a jacket, which appear to be perfectly assembled and formal in nature.
Perhaps most interestingly, is what is drawn between the large rectangle that contains the image and the four window panes. Outlines of various skeletons and skeletal body parts fill in the gaps between the two rectangles; providing a kind of macabre feeling to an otherwise “normal” portrait of our contemporaries.
Burgess, Gellet. “Portraits de Nos Contemporains.” Le Petit Journal des Refusées (1 July 1896): 1. The Modernist Journals Project. Brown and Tulsa Universities, ongoing. Web. [January 26, 2017]. http://library.brown.edu/cds/repository2/repoman.php?verb=render&id=1349273909781251&view=pageturner&pageno=2
“What Smith Tried to Believe”
by Danielle Waite