The Arabian Nights are the finest collection of tales in the world. Immerse yourself in their wonderful world, use your imagination and I’ll tell you some tales on the way. They are stories, not travel guides. To deny the beauty and ambivalence of much Orientalist imagery, though, is to deny half of it. We can think through these images and adapt them for ourselves, a process of image translation that occurs by default whenever we recreate vintage works of art.
Please note: this is not a miniatures class, but an illustration one.
You’ll see the deep influences of miniature paintings on the illustrators of the early 20th century, the ‘Golden Age of illustration’ - Edmund Dulac (who died demonstrating the flamenco), Réné Bull, Kay Nielsen et al. Since there are literally 1000s of illustrations - more illustrations than the Nights themselves - we’ll pick a few this time to make into a book. But… keep some spare pages, as in future we can add to these; they make wonderful Christmas paintings to do when it’s cold outside.
We’ll start with some of the iconic illustrations (I have a huge archive and am heavily biased of course) and delve deeper into lesser known and perhaps even more fabulous illustrators including some female ones (one also went to the Slade). To temporarily retreat into the childhood imaginary is acceptable at all times, more so than ever in December. Class includes a bespoke handmade leather envelope-flap cover to paint and free postage to anywhere in the world. Sent separately depending on production schedules. Make your own library of handmade Islamic style books!