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British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 15 August 1845, in Liverpool; died 14 March 1915, in Horsham (West Sussex).

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, engraver, illustrator, designer. Genre scenes, figures, landscapes, landscapes with figures. Designs for wallpapers.

Arts and Crafts.

Walter Crane studied under his father Thomas Crane and under William Linton. He was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement early on in his career, but only later began the work that made him famous. He designed wallpaper and illustrated books. He also wrote to clarify his artistic intentions and to provide a kind of code to his design practice. He became director of Manchester School of Art....


Stephen Stuart-Smith


(b Brighton, Feb 22, 1882; d Harefield, Middx [now in London], Nov 17, 1940).

English sculptor, letter-cutter, typographic designer, calligrapher, engraver, writer and teacher. He received a traditional training at Chichester Technical and Art School (1897–1900), where he first developed an interest in lettering. He also became fascinated by the Anglo-Saxon and Norman stone-carvings in Chichester Cathedral. In 1900 Gill moved to London to become a pupil of William Douglas Caröe (1857–1938), architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. He took classes in practical masonry at Westminster Institute and in writing and illuminating at the Central School of Art and Design, where he was deeply influenced by the calligrapher Edward Johnston. Johnston’s meticulous training was to be a perfect preparation for Gill’s first commissions for three-dimensional inscriptions in stone, the foundation stone for Caröe’s St Barnabas and St James the Greater in Walthamstow, London, and the lettering for the lychgate at Charles Harrison Townsend’s St Mary’s, Great Warley, Essex. Further commissions followed after Gill left Caröe in ...


Phillip Dennis Cate

(b Lausanne, May 25, 1841; d Paris, Oct 23, 1917).

French illustrator, decorative artist and printmaker of Swiss birth. Before arriving in Paris in the autumn of 1871, Grasset had been apprenticed to an architect, attended the Polytechnic in Zurich and travelled to Egypt. In Paris he found employment as a fabric designer and graphic ornamentalist, which culminated in his first important project, the illustrations for Histoire des quatre fils Aymon (1883). Grasset worked in collaboration with Charles Gillot, the inventor of photo-relief printing and an influential collector of Oriental and decorative arts, in the production of this major work of Art Nouveau book design and of colour photomechanical illustration. Grasset used a combination of medieval and Near Eastern decorative motifs to frame and embellish his illustrations, but most importantly he integrated text and imagery in an innovative manner which has had a lasting influence on book illustration.

In 1881 he was commissioned by Rodolphe Salis to design furnishing in a medieval style for the latter’s new Chat Noir cabaret in Montmartre. This project brought him in direct contact with Montmartre avant-garde artists such as Adolphe Willette, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Henri Rivière and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Grasset’s numerous posters include ...



(b Old Alresford, nr Winchester, Oct 14, 1853; d South Gorley, nr Fordingbridge, Hants, Dec 21, 1940).

English printmaker, designer and illustrator. He read law at Oxford, and though called to the Bar in 1876 he never practised law. Instead he exercised an innate gift for drawing and painting in watercolours, and by 1880 he was exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. He published his first books of etchings, The Itchen Valley and The Avon, in 1881. An early friendship with W. A. S. Benson drew him into the Arts and Crafts circle where, over the next decade, he became one of its leading exponents, designing wallpapers, textiles, metalwork and furniture. He married Benson’s sister Agnes in 1883, and by 1886 the family were living in Kensington.

With Benson, Sumner founded the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society in London (1887), and in 1893 with his help the Fitzroy Picture Society was formed, with the intention of making art more widely available. For the Fitzroy he made a series of posters. A greater legacy was his applied decoration of some 11 church interiors throughout England and Wales. For church walls Sumner revived ...