An illustration is a work of art that is created to explain or decorate a text. Images are created using techniques such as drawing, painting and photography. Common uses of illustration include novels, children’s books, botanical illustration and fashion design.
Sheet Music Covers
The earliest music sheets to be illustrated by lithography were produced in this country in about 1820 and were coloured by hand. After colour lithography took off in the late 1830s, coloured illustrations could be produced cheaply in large numbers. Several artists specialised in music cover illustration and the individual style of the artists can often be recognised from the design and date.
Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life
15 February 2013 – 19 May 2013. This display provides an overview of the career of the American artist and designer Barbara Nessim, from the 1960s to the present day. In addition to producing a wide range of highly distinctive artworks, Nessim has also worked as an illustrator and fashion designer, creating everything from shoes and textiles to commercial graphics.
Mrs Loudon & the Victorian Garden
Jane Loudon was to Victorian gardening what Mrs Beeton was to cookery. Her beautifully illustrated books on gardening and plant identification sold in their thousands and women all over the country were enthused enough by them to take up gardening as a hobby. She was one of the most successful of a number of talented women botanical illustrators who had mixed fortunes during their lifetimes. Now highly regarded, many of their works are in the collection of the National Art Library.
Video: Gerald Scarfe - Drawing Inspiration
Gerald Scarfe is known for thirty years of brilliant caricatures that have appeared in such publications as Private Eye, the New Yorker and the Sunday Times. Filmed in his studio, the distinguished British illustrator and cartoonist draws us a picture and discusses the lasting influence of the V&A.