Ever heard about Alfred Walter Bayes, also known as A. W. Bayes? Painter and illustrator, who was born in 1831 and died in 1909?
I am working on another interesting project right now and I was searching the web for public domain illustrations of Andersen’s fairy tales. They are many available but most of them are in black and white. Then I managed to get the scan of Andersen’s Stories of the Household, published by George Routledge and Sons, Glasgow and New York in 1889.
It is illustrated with two hundred and ninety illustrations by Alfred Walter Bayes and these were engraved by legendary brothers George and Edward Dalziel. The book is beautiful and some of illustrations are in color!
So let’s take a tour of Alfred Bayes’ illustrations:
This was my first contact with work of Alfred Bayes and I was very curious. I managed to dig some interesting facts from his life and it seems the fairy tales were not the only thing A. W. Bayes had in common with H. C. Andersen.
Here are some quick facts:
1. Fathers of Alfred Bayes and Hans Andersen were both shoemakers. They were both earning relatively small amounts of money (Andersens were actually officially poor), so both fathers were involved in many do-it-yourself projects.
2. A. W. Bayes and H. C. Andersen both got artistic talents and vivid imagination but their financial situation didn’t allow them to get required education. Both tried to get formal education in later years, when most people don’t even think about school anymore.
3. There is one more rather morbid similarity. Hand Christian Andersen fell of his bed few years before his death and he never regained his health again. Alfred Walter Bayes fell when he was trying to avoid a cab on the street. The consequences were so harsh he died soon after. We can say H. C. Andersen and A. W. Byes both died because of their falls …