Friday, April 02, 2021

Friday, April 02, 2021 1:23 am by M. in , ,    No comments
The Guardian publishes the obituary of the artist, printmaker and wood engraver Peter Forster (1934-2021):
My partner, Peter Forster, who has died aged 86, was one of the leading British wood engravers of the last 50 years. He was a maverick in a rather traditional medium – his work was characterised by a satirical and irreverent sense of humour and he often used colour when monochrome was the norm. (...)
He had an abiding love of literature, and the Folio Society publishing company offered him the freedom to express this by illustrating a series of works including plays by Shakespeare and other classics, of which Wuthering Heights and Romola showed him at his peak. (Hugh White)
The Folio Life has more information about his 1991 Wuthering Heights engravings:
The first novel Peter undertook for Folio was Wuthering Heights, and it is arguably his masterpiece. As will be clear by now, he had no interest in standard 'BBC costume drama' illustrations to the classics. Even what looks to be a fairly conventional moorland scene has a twist to it when we realise that the paving stones are gravestones. The building silhouetted against the skyline is Top Withens, said to be the original Wuthering Heights:

Peter's images are dominated by Heathcliff, an outsider by race and by temperament, with whom he felt a powerful affinity. In this image, Nelly the housekeeper is sprucing up the young Heathcliff, who is ashamed at his appearance when Catherine returns nicely dressed from the Lintons. Nelly describes his eyes as 'that couple of black fiends, so deeply buried, who never open their windows boldly, but lurk glinting under them, like devil's spies.'
You can check more of his engravings in the Folio Life post or in this online tribute.

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