FIRST ARTISTS OF THE RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM
Since becoming Professor Emeritus, I have been researching the first artists of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam as translated by Edward FitzGerald. Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) was a Persian scientist, mathematician and astronomer who also wrote poetry. The Englishman FitzGerald first translated a selection of 75 of his four-line poems (called quatrains) anonymously in 1859 and followed this up with additional verses and retranslations in four subsequent editions. At the turn of the 19th to 20th century, the poems were widely popular worldwide. During this era many dozens of artists illustrated, decorated or embellished the large number of publications of the poems. FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is one of, if not the most, widely published book of poetry the world has ever seen. It is also the most illustrated of all books of poetry. New editions by new artists continue to be published to this day. I just completed the final book on the first artists of the Rubaiyat and, in addition to cataloging all of the artists for the first time, I have been lucky to make many new discoveries.
First, I'll summarize the information on the fifth and final 2018 book, then cover the four books published in 2017: Early Artists of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, 1914-1929 by Danton H. O’Day, 141pp, Emeritus Books, ISBN 978-1-38-873374-2 (Softcover)This new, intensely illustrated book, Early Artists of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, focuses on the era from 1914-1929 that followed the Golden Age of Rubáiyát Art, 1884-1913. It reveals the work of 16 illustrators who produced two or more pictures to illustrate the poems and 9 other artists who embellished the poetry with page decorations, title page adornments and unique frontispiece images. In these pages, the identity of a previously anonymous artist is revealed. New decorators are discovered. Tables and graphic timelines put all the work into perspective as multiple images—many published here for the first time in 90-100+ years—reveal the often-unparalleled talent of artists who took their pens, inks and paints to the task of illustrating FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát. This book completes the five-book documentation of first artists of FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that covers the years from 1884 to 1929.
Check out the book video at DantonCanada on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7ADb6t36xaU
The Golden Age of Rubáiyát Art
Complete Catalog In 3 Volumes (2017)
Danton H. O’Day
To date this has been detailed in the four books shown here. Here I will summarize the main points of those volumes and any new research on these early artists. I will also use these pages to update information contained in those four volumes. On other pages, I will add information about other interesting things I’ve learned about the Rubaiyat artists.
The 1st complete documentation of the illustrators and decorators
of Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám from 1884-1913.
Volume I. The Illustrators
-34 illustrators, each with their own subsection
-Tables and Figures detail the publications and timeline
-Discovery of a previously unknown illustrator
-168 pictures; many for the first time since their original publication over 100 years ago
Volume II. Popular Themes
-3 major: Here Beneath the Bough; Potter Thumping His Clay; Angel of the darker Drink
-2 minor: Nudes, Good Angels
-68 pictures; many for the first time since their original publication over 100 years ago
Volume III. The Decorators
-Chronological sequence of 36 page decorators plus other book embellishers; more than previously realized
-Tables & Charts detail the artists and publications
-Discovery of a new decorator and reveals previously unrecognized work by others
-Cover, Frontispiece, Title, Endpaper & Page decorators are covered
-161 pictures; many for the first time since their original publication over 100 years ago
Artists of the Omar Khayyám Club of London,
Danton H. O’Day, Emeritus Press, 2017.
-Details the artists who illustrated the menus for Club meetings
-Introduces many beautiful and evocative new pictures not available to the general public
-Reveals many errors in attribution of artistic credits
-Reveals another unknown artist
The Golden Age of Rubáiyát Art I. The Illustrators
Hardcover, ImageWrap: 9781389940095; Softcover: 9781389940088
The Golden Age of Rubaiyat Art II. Popular Themes
Hardcover, ImageWrap ISBN: 9781389939990; Softcover ISBN: 9781389940002
The Golden Age of Rubaiyat Art III. The Decorators
Hardcover, ImageWrap ISBN: 9781389940026; Softcover ISBN: 9781389940033
Artists of the Omar Khayyám Club of London, 1892-1929
Hardcover, ImageWrap: 9781389917240; Softcover: 9781389917257
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Last update: April 2018.