Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886) was an illustrious, prodigious and internationally renowned Victorian illustrator whose work was eagerly anticipated by children and admired by artists, including the Post –Impressionist painters Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. He could, also, count among his close friends the Pre-Raphaelite artists John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Although he was a watercolourist and illustrated many travel books, including the book in the photographs, Bracebridge Hall by Washington Irving, it was his illustrations of children’s books that brought him international acclaim. From 1878 till his death eight years later he published two Children’s books at Christmas, which he not only illustrated, but selected and amended the stories and rhymes and, even in some cases, wrote himself.
Caldecott’s work is still widely popular and celebrated by societies in both the UK and US and, in honour of his outstanding illustrative work, the Caldecott Medal is awarded each year by the American Library Association in recognition of: “the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year.”
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