Pre-Raphaelite style illustration by Helen Stratton
The artist Helen Stratton was a painter and portraitist, but it is as an illustrator that her work is most interesting. She worked in London (Kensington and Chelsea), and produced large numbers of illustrations for children's fairy tales. Her work is uneven - at its worst it is careless and some of her pictures are undoubted mediocrities. However, at her best, Stratton's illustrations should be ranked most highly. They tend to the romantic, and in some cases show a Pre-Raphaelite influence, most especially in the manner of Arthur Hughes. In other pictures, Stratton uses swirling hair and cloaks to give a satisfyingly art nouveau style.
Perhaps her best book is Andersen's Fairy Tales, which has about 400 illustrations. A contemporary review of this book noted that 'If some of her drawings remind us now and again of Houghton's style, there is yet strong individuality in them'.
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