April 23, 2017

Know Your Illustrators: Frank C. Pape


Frank C. Pape, a successful artist from the Golden Age of Fairy Tale Illustration, has escaped my attention until now. But, thanks to Pinterest, I've found him, and I'm glad I did. His strong lines and intriguing faces (especially on nonhumans) make his art seem fresh a century after his best work as a fairy tale illustrator. You can read more about The Golden Age of Fairy Tale Illustration HERE:

Pape was an Englishman, born in 1878. He trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, and married Alice Stringer, a fellow illustrator. In the first two decades of the 20th Century, he did much of his fairy tale work. Between 1910 and 1916, his output was impressive, and his fairy tale illustration was especially strong; his work included The Golden Fairy Book, The Ruby Fairy Book, and The Diamond Fairy Book. All three were published in 1911!

He enlisted into the Royal Army Service Corps, and the focus of his work changed, as the illustrated book market in the UK declined during the war. Pape eventually became known for illustrating satire by American writer James Branch Cabell. The book Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice, published in 1919, was both celebrated and the subject of an attempted indecency trial. Pape illustrated that book, and number of others by Cabell. He became popular in the US as a result.

Eventually, his popularity waned, and although he contributed to "Uncle Ray" stories by Ramon Coffman in the '30s and the '40s, his output began to decline, and in the 1950s, trouble with his eyesight dramatically affected his ability to work.

Pape lived into his 90s, and is well-remembered enough to have his his work and correspondence saved at Stanford University. 

One more thing: Pape's name should have an accent over the "e," but danged if I can make that happen for this post. An article about his life can be found HERE: 

All of the images here are from The Diamond Fairy Book.



  1. You're right about the expressiveness of these non-human faces. The lion in the first illustration is heartbreaking in his desperate final struggle.

  2. I love reading about these illustrators whom I've not heard of before!

    1. It's so much fun to research them. I'm already thinking of a new one.

  3. Very detailed and draws you in to the scene! ~ Luisa