The Art of Francoise Taylor - Le Morte d'Arthur in
Another more recent creative mind whose
imagination was captured by Arthurian legend was the 20th Century
Belgian/British artist and book illustrator Francoise Taylor. During 1948 she
produced a series of 18 wonderfully original and evocative engravings, created
specifically as illustrations
for Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.
Françoise Taylor (née Wauters) was born
in 1920 in Liège, Belgium. She studied art at the Académie Royale in Brussels,
winning the First Prize for Drawing 3 years in a row. She went on to spend 4
years at the Ecole Nationale Superiéure d'Architecture et d'Arts Decoratifs in
Brussels, where she specialised in engraving, book illustration, and typography.
She was awarded a Diploma with the Highest Distinction. This led to a grant to
work for a further 2 years to produce a portfolio of drawings and engravings for
which she was awarded the Masters Degree for Book Illustration.
Her series of engravings 'Pointes Seches
sur la Guerre' was based on her experience of living in Belgium during the
German Occupation, with the Deportations and the Allied Bombardment. Her
literary interests also led to her producing engravings for works by Kafka,
Dostoievski, and Conrad, amongst others. These interests were extended when she
moved to England after the war, where she made illustrations for Malory's Le
Morte d'Arthur, Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland', and Coleridge's 'The Rime
of the Ancient Mariner', as well as various other stories and nursery rhymes.
Her Morte d'Arthur series of engravings, produced in 1948, formed an important
part of her Masters Degree portfolio.
After living in Oxford, England, for 2
years, she moved to Bolton, Lancashire, in the North of England, where she
became fascinated by the buildings, street life, and parks of a Northern
industrial town. Her wanderings about the Bolton landscape led her to produce a
large collection of drawings and watercolours inspired by what she saw.
She remained an active artist until the
mid-1980's, and many of her later works arose from a continuing fascination with
Alice in Wonderland and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In these and many other
drawings and engravings her interest in the life of animals has frequently been
Françoise Taylor has had
"one-man" exhibitions in Brussels, Liège, Manchester, Salford, and
Bolton, and her works have also been exhibited in Paris, London, and various
other English towns and cities. Most of her etchings are in the permanent
collection in the Cabinet des Estampes in Brussels and several in the Cabinet
des Estampes in Paris.