The Battle of the Mushrooms

The Battle of the Mushrooms

Paul Woodroffe

Wood-engraving, engraved by Clemence Housman

5½ x 3 inches

Housman, Laurence, trans.Aucassin and Nicolette , facing p. 51.

This dense and intricate design embodies the violent action in the text; in part naturalistic, it also functions as a dense linear pattern in the manner of Art Nouveau. Woodroffe was heavily influenced by the style of Laurence Housman and this image bears a close relationship to his mentor’s condensed visual arrangements as they appeared in books such as Goblin Market. Woodroffe’s spatial arrangement notably recalls Housman’s stacked organization of motifs which seem to spill out of the bottom of the frame. The Housman – Woodroffe collaboration is clinched by the engraving, which was executed by Housman’s sister, Clemence.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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