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The Illustrators 2009 - Chris Beetles Gallery

Exhibition preview

THIS year, over 1000 pieces – original drawings and watercolours from over 200 years of British Illustration – will be on display at Chris Beetles Gallery in this popular annual exhibition – The Illustrators 2009.

Many of the hundreds of artists included are house-hold names. From Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) and E H Shepard (1879-1976), to Quentin Blake (born 1932) and Oliver Jeffers (born 1977), the gallery will offer the chance to buy the original drawings from your favourite childhood books.

However, the exhibition goes much further than that – it covers the history of British illustration in all its myriad forms. For example, there will be a major group of work by the influential designer and illustrator Eric Fraser (1902-1983), whose long-running relationship with The Radio Times helped define the magazine’s look over forty years.

Another major addition to the roster this year is the work of Sherriffs (1906-1960), whose stylish line work was commissioned by Punch to bring the excitement of Hollywood film to readers during the 1950s.

Also included will be quirky sketch-book invention from Charles Altamont Doyle (1832-1893), poetry illustration from the mighty Walter Crane (1845-1915), social satire from H M Bateman (1887-1970), elegant line from Fougasse (1887-1965), newspaper cartoons by Giles (1916-1995) and Matt (born 1964), and much, much more…

Chris Beetles has pioneered this dynamic market over the last twenty-five years, producing annual exhibitions and museum quality catalogues to fiercely promote this once under-rated sector. The strategy has worked wonders, and Chris Beetles now has thousands of collectors, young and old, who flock to the gallery to invest in beautiful, affordable artworks that brim with nostalgia and narrative.

Whether it is a charming Paddington Bear illustration by Fred Banbery (1913-1999) for £950, or an elaborate, intense, powerful watercolour by the legendary Edmund Dulac (1882-1953) for £55,000, there is something for all budgets. But, with over 80% of the pictures below £2000, this exhibition represents a fantastic opportunity to buy unique, meaningful pictures as Christmas presents.

A catalogue will accompany the exhibition. With 200 pages of erudite essays and notes, and over 400 full colour images, it will be one of the most comprehensive texts on illustration published to date. It will be available from the gallery for £15 + £3 P&P.

The exhibition, which opens the weekend of November 14 and 15, 2009, runs until January 9, 2010.

Times: Daily from 10am to 5.30pm.

Chris Beetles Gallery, 8 & 10 Ryder Street, London, SW1Y 6QB.