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Walter Crane Wall Art

Walter Crane (Born August 15, 1845) was a British designer, illustrator and painter primarily known for his imaginative illustrations of children’s books. Crane was the son of the miniaturist and portrait painter Thomas Crane, and he served as an apprentice to W.J. Linton, the wood engraver, in London (from 1859 to 1862), where he was able to study both the Italian old masters and contemporary work by John Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. His study of Japanese color prints was probably the most important technical development in his art - derived from whose methods he used in a series of toy books, thereby starting a new fashion. The teachings and ideas of John Ruskin and of the Pre-Raphaelites manifested themselves in his early paintings. He came to oppose the policies of the academy, which steadily refused his later work. In 1864 Crane began to illustrate an admirable series of sixpenny toy books of nursery rhymes for the color printer, Edmund Evans.

A new series that began with The Frog Prince (1873), and had the influence of Florentine 15th-century painting added to the Japanese influence. The series followed his trip to Italy and was more elaborate. A strong moral element underlies much of his work. For several years he contributed weekly cartoons to the socialist periodicals The Commonweal and Justice. Many of these were collected as Cartoons for the Cause. Crane was founder-president of the Art Workers’ Guild. He also founded the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1888. Crane became art director first of the Manchester School of Art and of Reading College, and principal of the Royal College of Art, London. He died on 14 March 1915.

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