St. Simeon Stylites St. Simeon Stylites

His seventy-six illustrations for The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Methuen, 1913) treat FitzGerald's verses realistically. Brangwyn's gorgeousness and glory of the east are missing and are replaced by an almost literal rendering of the lines. These are actual Persians a Sullivan saw them, not the symbolical figures of Love and Life Laughter and Carousal of the translator. Many of the drawings, made in line, chalk and wash, had appeared already in the pages of The Pall Mall Magazine. All are interesting; some are excellent, but there is a feeling of restraint about them hardly in keeping with the defiant spirit of the book. The drawing of the hands throughout is wonderful/ Boyd Houghton's influence can be felt often and one wonders how that artist of the 'sixties, with his knowledge and interest in the east, would have illustrated the poem. The Omar Khayyam club commissioned replicas of the mug illustrating verse LXIV. These were made by Arnold Bennett's brother and used at their meetings. — James Thorpe, 31

Plates

St. Simeon Stylites St. Simeon Stylites

References

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám translated by Edward FitzGerald. New York: Illustrated Editions Company, nd. [Originally published in London by Methuen in 1913]. Internet Archive version. Web. 23 December 2012.

Thorpe, James. E. J. Sullivan. London: Art and Technics, 1948.


Victorian Web Victorian Illustration Edmund J. Sullivan

Last modified 22 December 2012