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Five Enchanting Classic Fairy Artists

By |2018-09-26T19:16:49+00:00June 28th, 2014|Categories: Inspiration, Inspiring Artists|Tags: |2 Comments

Here’s a little artistic inspiration for my fellow fairy fans.


Arthur Rackham

1. Arthur Rackham (1867 – 1939) regarded as one of the leading illustrators for the ‘Golden Age’ of illustration, is perhaps one of the most well known fairy artists. He was born in London as one of 12 children and began studying art at the age of 18 at the Lambeth School of Art in London. He’s a common source of inspiration for many current fantasy artists and for good reason. He worked mostly in ink and water colors.

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Margaret W. Tarrant

2. Margaret W. Tarrant (1888 – 1959) helped popularize fairy art with her beautiful imagery in children’s books, calendars and on postcards. She was born in Battersea, South London. She studied at Heatherley’s School of Art and also at the Guildford School of Art. Her career began when she was 20. Other than her fairy art she was also known for religious paintings.

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Richard Dadd

3. Richard Dadd (1817 – 1886) was born at Chatham, Kent in England. His most well known for his painting The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke and of the murder on his father. He was accepted into the Royal Academy of Arts at the age of 20. He suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and as a result stabbed his father to death. He was thereafter admitted to a mental institution and lived out his life in confinement.

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Cicely Mary Baker

4. Cicely Mary Barker (1895 – 1973) was born in Croydon, Surrey, England. She is best known for her Flower Fairy series which captured the hearts of fairy lovers. She was proficient in both water color, pen and ink, oils, and pastels. She began studying art already at the age of 13 at the Croydon School of Art.

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John Bauer

5. John Bauer (1882 – 1918) was born in Jönköping, Sweden. He is well known for his illustrations of the Swedish woodland full of trolls, elves, gnomes and princesses and his muted palette with a strong sense of values. John Bauer is alongside Arthur Rackham also one of the most common inspirations of contemporary Fantasy artists.

John wanted to attend the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts at age 16 and was deemed qualified but was too young. Two years later at age 18 he was accepted. He and his wife and child drowned in a tragic accident, when the boat they were on sunk. John Bauer only lived to be 36.

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Who are your favourite fairy artists?

Thank you for reading, I hope you found the work of these artists inspiring, if you did please share with your friends, also I’d like to know who are some of your favorite fairy artists? Let me know in the comments!

About the Author:

Award-winning Illustrator, Artist, and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily share her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in the Kingdom of Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.


  1. Terri December 20, 2018 at 11:48 am - Reply

    And not forgetting Kay Niellson (sp?)

  2. spike November 14, 2018 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    For Golden era illustration I love Edmund Dulac and Arthur Rackham.

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