Born in London, England, E.J. Detmold and his twin brother Maurice were artistic prodigies. Beginning with their very earliest works, they showed great sensitivity and a passion for nature. Only 13 years old when they exhibited their first water colors at the Royal Academy and the Royal Institute of Painters, they were heavily influenced by traditional Japanese forms, and later, Art Nouveau. Their life subjects included flowering plants, bees, birds, and “baby beasts.”
Together they produced illustrations that were featured in Pictures from Birdland (1899) and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (1903). When Maurice died under tragic circumstances a few years later, Edward continued to work as an artist and illustrator, producing the greater share of the Detmold legacy. His beautifully rendered watercolors appeared as hand-tipped chromolithographs in many books from the turn of the last century. They are instantly recognizable for their lush color, whimsy, and a superb mastery of highly technical art forms. Detmold’s work has been favorably compared to that of the Pre-Raphaelites and 15th century painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer.
These illustrations are highly sought after. Sadly, many of the original books have been purchased for the sole purpose of breaking them: the plates are removed and resold individually to private collectors.
In the spirit of conservation, and as part of our effort to bring these works to life, we have acquired the originals—most often in very poor condition—and worked to restore them. We digitize the illustrations on professional grade scanners with an artist’s eye to historic color accuracy and finest detail, ultimately producing a hand-rendered print worthy of the Iconic label. These are not carelessly scanned, mass-produced images on matte presentation paper, but rather they are beautiful works of art in and of their own right. We spare the originals and the planet–endeavoring to use environmentally sustainable processes wherever possible. The resulting prints are both collectible and affordably priced at well below the mass produced versions, which populate print on-demand sites.
Your purchase will help support a college education, all breed rescue organizations, and, most importantly, they will pay fitting tribute to the extraordinary artistic talent of E.J. Detmold.
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