Object Image

The Green Dragon

One of the best-known book illustrators of his time, Rackham worked at the turn of the 20th century in the period now sometimes described as the genre's golden age. His style combined intricate line work with delicate coloring to create scenes that were timeless, mysterious, and sometimes dark. This combination was particularly well suited for fantasy subjects like fairytales, Nordic and Germanic legends, and the dragon in this illustration, first published in his Book of Pictures of 1913. The beast's sinuous body echoes the lines describing the trees' gnarly trunks, roots, and branches, and the ripples of the water in the stream, highlighting its unity with the nature that surrounds it. Rackham evokes a world both similar and different to our own, where nature is both magical and dangerous.

Credit: Gift of Mrs. Don Hunter

1910
Pen and ink with wash
28.0 x 19.0cm
1954.652
Image and text: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2023

Where you'll find this

The Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Permanent collection