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Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby LucyP » 18 Sep 2009, 15:55

john wrote:Hm...let me look into this. If you have continuing issues, please use the "Announcements & Support" forum.

Thanks.

Yay! At least I figured out how to upload a pic!!!! Well, I knew how before, but SIX KIB? just type the lucy pevensie avatars on photobucket! Heh, that turned out to be easier than i thought.
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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby jo » 04 Dec 2009, 23:14

Actually I am not a fan of the original illustrations either .. but like others I can't quite see where the blasphemy comes in. I am surprised that Lewis did not get a say in who did the illustrations though, nor the ability to approve or reject them before publication.
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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby carol » 05 Dec 2009, 04:18

I think Lewis DID get to have a say about the illustrations. He certainly had the right to ask for alterations - eg rowers sitting in the boat the wrong way in PC, and asking if the children could look a bit prettier in subsequent books.
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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby Larry W. » 05 Dec 2009, 11:45

One thing I was always curious about-- were Baynes' illustrations originally in color or did someone else colorize them later? I have never seen any older editions of the Narnia books with her pictures in color, although her original pictures might have been in color but printed in black and white for the books. In recent years some other books have been published about Narnia besides the stories and they show her pictures in full color (perhaps for eye appeal in selling the book), but are they exactly as she created them?

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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby jo » 05 Dec 2009, 23:11

*waves at Carol, and Larry too :) *

He should certainly have done something about the previous mentioned illustration of Aslan walking with the witch, on his hind legs, with his paws behind his back then! :D
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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby Larry W. » 06 Dec 2009, 04:31

Baynes' Aslan wasn't always completely accurate to the more stern side of the Lion, As Jo pointed out, Baynes sometimes even made him look a little silly. The children are better, but they seem a bit distant. We don't see any closeups of them which might show their personalities more. I like the old-fashioned look of Narnia that she presented, but maybe Lewis didn't see her portrayal as being quite what he had in mind. I still am quite happy with my newer edition which doesn't crop them and I even bought the paperback color Harper Collins LWW because I wanted one of the books with the pictures in color. Bayne's pictures are appealing to me, but I can understand why some people feel they could have been better. :snow-smile:

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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby jo » 06 Dec 2009, 19:39

I'd have liked something a bit more .. I can't even think of what the word is. Mature maybe? I dunno.. the pictures quite often did not look 'right' to me. Some are, of course, very much better than others.
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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby MissFrisby » 24 Jan 2010, 17:52

I really love Baynes illustrations of landscapes and buildings. Perhaps her people and animals didn't turn out quite right sometimes, especilly early on, but they do seem to improve. The drawings in "The Last Battle" have real depth to them.

Perhaps Lewis warmed to them later too? I've read a letter he wrote to her on recieving the illustrations for "The Horse and his Boy" where he says, "It is delightful to find that you do each book a little bit better than the last - it is nice to see an artist growing. (If only you cd take 6 months off and devote them to anatomy, there's no limit to your possibilities)" He then lists every picture and what he likes about it.

I also love a quote of his where he said to Pauline Baynes (about future drawings), "I know you made the children rather plain in the intrests of realism, but do you think you could possibly pretty them up a little now?" So very tactful!
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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby Mr Hooper » 26 Jan 2010, 00:07

I love the Baynes illustrations myself, but as for Aslan, I suppose that the image Lewis had was a very different one to the kind of lion Baynes drew. Harry Blamires, who was a pupil and later a friend of Lewis, was to recall the following:

"One of Harry's favorite memories is from around 1954, about the time the Narnia books were releasing. "We talked about the illustrations," Harry says. "Lewis appreciated the endearing charm of Pauline Baynes's work, but he was excited by another artist's picture of Aslan. He dived down to a bottom shelf of a bookcase, picked up a volume, opened it and laid it on my knees. It was a French edition of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. 'That's what I mean,' he said, pointing to a picture of Aslan leaping, streaking across the page, massive and powerful to the point of almost being terrifying. All the cuddliness was gone. There could be no question of stroking this awesome beast."
(This is from the author notes on the website Faithful Reader)

Anyone seen/can post this "French" Aslan I wonder?
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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby carol » 29 Jan 2010, 09:54

I've got the reproduction editions of the original LWW and PC, and some of the pictures are different - the front cover and frontispiece in LWW are rather lovely. The frontispiece is the Romp, with Aslan from the front, standing on two legs, looking quite broad, a fluffed up mane, and almost grinning, but he is still fearsomely lionly.

The paperback versions have a side view of him in this scene.
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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby Baynesman » 15 Jul 2010, 20:31

carol wrote:I think Lewis DID get to have a say about the illustrations. He certainly had the right to ask for alterations - eg rowers sitting in the boat the wrong way in PC, .


I actually own the original, corrected work.
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Re: Lewis' dislike of Baynes' illustrations

Postby carol » 16 Jul 2010, 21:09

Ah yes, I remember when you posted it! That was exciting to see.

As for someone's question about who put the colour in, I believe Baynes did it herself subsequently for special editions.
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