"Dreamland, Ladies Home Journal Magazine Cover" Lot no. 2829
18.00" x 14.00"
Mixed Media, Acrylic, Wash and Watercolor on Board
Signed Lower Left and with Remnants of Original LHJ label on contemporary p
January 1913 Ladies' Home Journal Cover
Susan Beatrice Pearse (19 January 1878-1980) was a British illustrator of children’s books, best known for the AMELIARANNE series, comprised of twenty books. What gives weight to her engaging style is the fact that eight different authors completed this project with Pearse as the sole illustrator. As well, she also created several pieces for works of Charles Dickens.
This charming illustration, DREAMLAND, appeared on the cover of the very popular LADIES HOME JOURNAL. It depicts a loose column of sleepy children, identically dressed in long white nightgowns, climbing a hill toward a distant castle. What is most arresting about the picture is the affectionate concern the children have for one another, the older ones helping the younger, the alert ones assisting the drowsy. Some wander off the path to gather red poppies, the legendary inducer of sleep. One boy helpfully holds up a candle to aid the stragglers in the fading light. The world the picture creates is like a gentle dream within a dream.
The particularity of the scene and the individuality of the many children is a wonderful indication of the artist’s skill. The palette and tone are soft and inviting, while the castle on the hill is unthreatening. The influence of Jessie Wilcox Smith can be seen in the style, and echoes of Maxfield Parrish are evident in the tall cypress trees set against the luminous clouds. But the picture remains fully original in both its expression and its execution.