Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Peter and the Princess

John R. Neill didn't illustrate many books after the 19-teens, other than the Oz series. A notable exception to this is Peter and The Princess, which was published by Reilly & Lee in 1920. This title was was an elaborate gift book, and a showcase for John R. Neill's artwork, containing 8 beautiful color plates, plus color title page, endpapers, and cover - eleven images in all.

These illustrations were taken from finished watercolors, rather than ink drawings with color added by the printers, and the book was sold in a decorative box. I do find it a bit odd that Neill didn't create any ink drawings for the book, since he was such a master of that medium. But the watercolors are lovely, and I believe most of them remain in the Neill family today.

Two years ago I had an opportunity to visit with Jory Mason, one of Neill's granddaughters. This was a memorable occasion, as I was able to view a great deal of original artwork at the time. As a bonus, she had a large quantity of pieces belonging to her Aunt which were being returned shortly after my visit. Among these were several of the watercolors for this book, and it was a thrill to see them in person.


Anonymous said...

Those watercolors are beautiful stuff. Is the story much good?

Bill Campbell said...

It's been so long since I actually read this book that I really can't say - I'll have to read it again. Obviously, the story didn't stick with me the way the illustrations did!