Walter Crane and Edmund Evans, 'The Vain Jackdaw' (The Jackdaw and the Peacock)

Walter Crane and Edmund Evans, 'The Vain Jackdaw' (The Jackdaw and the Peacock)

Walter Crane (illustration) and Edmund Evans (colour wood engraving)
'The Vain Jackdaw' (The Jackdaw and the Peacock)
About 1907
From 'The baby's own Aesop: being the fables condensed in rhyme', adapted from William James Linton
Published by Frederick Warne, London
National Art Library Pressmark: 60.C.108

This image comes from a toy-book designed by Walter Crane (1845-1915) and printed by Edmund Evans (1826-1905) using colour wood-engraving. Crane imitated the highly developed methods of Japanese colour woodblock printing, recently discovered by Europeans, which Evans reproduced.

Edmund Evans (1826-1905) is one of the best-known European colour wood-engravers of the 19th century. The care he took with colours attracted well-known illustrators like Crane to work with him, including Kate Greenaway and Randolph Caldecott. He used a new invention, photography, to transfer illustrators' work onto the woodblocks, making reproduction easier than copying.