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Edmund Dulac

Edmond Dulac

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Edmund Dulac (born Edmond Dulac; October 22, 1882 – May 25, 1953) was a French-born, British naturalised magazine illustrator, book illustrator and stamp designer. Born in Toulouse he studied law but later turned to the study of art at the École des Beaux-Arts. He moved to London early in the 20th century and in 1905 received his first commission to illustrate the novels of the Brontë Sisters. During World War I, Dulac produced relief books and when after the war the deluxe children's book market shrank he turned to magazine illustrations among other ventures. He designed banknotes during World War II and postage stamps, most notably those that heralded the beginning of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.


Born in Toulouse, France, he began his career by studying law at the University of Toulouse. He also studied art, switching to it full-time after he became bored with law, and having won prizes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He spent a very brief period at the Académie Julian in Paris in 1904 before moving to London.

Settling in London's Holland Park, the 22-year-old Frenchman was commissioned by the publisher J. M. Dent to illustrate Jane Eyre. and nine other volumes of works by the Brontë sisters. He then became a regular contributor to The Pall Mall Magazine, and joined the London Sketch Club, which introduced him to the foremost book and magazine illustrators of the day. Through these he began an association with the Leicester Galleries and Hodder & Stoughton; the gallery commissioned illustrations from Dulac which they sold in an annual exhibition, while publishing rights to the paintings were taken up by Hodder & Stoughton for reproduction in illustrated gift books, publishing one book a year. Books produced under this arrangement by Dulac include Stories from The Arabian Nights (1907) with 50 colour images; an edition of William Shakespeare's The Tempest (1908) with 40 colour illustrations; The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1909) with 20 colour images; The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales (1910); Stories from Hans Christian Andersen (1911); The Bells and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe (1912) with 28 colour images and many monotone illustrations; and Princess Badoura (1913).

Dulac became a naturalised British citizen on 17 February 1912.

During World War I he contributed to relief books, including King Albert's Book (1914), Princess Mary's Gift Book, and, unusually, his own Edmund Dulac's Picture-Book for the French Red Cross (1915) including 20 colour images. Hodder and Stoughton also published The Dreamer of Dreams (1915) including 6 colour images - a work composed by the then Queen of Romania.

Dulac's wife was Helen Beauclerk, author of The Green Lacqueur Pavilion, 1926, and The Love of the Foolish Angel, 1929, both of which books have his illustrations.

After the war, the deluxe edition illustrated book became a rarity and Dulac's career in this field was over. His last such books were Edmund Dulac's Fairy Book (1916), the Tanglewood Tales (1918) (including 14 colour images) and The Kingdom of the Pearl (1920). His career continued in other areas however, including newspaper caricatures (especially at The Outlook), portraiture, theatre costume and set design, bookplates, chocolate boxes, medals, and various graphics (especially for The Mercury Theatre, Notting Hill Gate).

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Edmund Dulac Artworks
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