Early Works
Early Works

Studying Nature
Studying Nature

Luxurious Likenesses
Luxurious Likenesses


Introduction


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"The Greatest of Living Draughtsmen"
The Death of King Warwulf
The Death of King Warwulf

Drawing Stories

During the 1860s Sandys produced 25 illustrations for magazines and periodicals and became one of the most popular and highly paid illustrators.

His designs were engraved onto wood by specialist engravers such as Joseph Swain and then printed. This meant the designs had to be clear and have strong lines as well as all the other elements an artist might want to include. Sandys’ skill as a draughtsman meant he was perfect for the job.

This picture of ‘The Death of King Warwulf’, published in 1862 is a good example. Sandys has shown the king amongst a mass of swirling shapes – the flames, the curve of the edge of the boat and its sail and King Warwulf’s own clothes. The strong lines and patterns of these shapes take our eye around the picture but also emphasise the stillness of King Warwulf’s pose and his bowed but highly detailed head. Sandys has created an image that has great impact from a distance but is also worth a closer look and leaves us in doubt as to what is happening in the story.

Text & image ©
Norwich Castle Museum
& Art Gallery