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Immortal Longings is an artist-run London company specializing Shakespare & Opera illustrations.

What you'll discover: Delightfully dramatic Shakespeare gifts featuring the Bard's best loved characters. I'm passionate about offering inspired gifts for actors, literature lovers, teachers, poets, dreamers, dramatics and romantics. My Opera Series provides art for international productions, giving an illustrated style to the thrilling music and characters.

My unique Shakespeare Gifts and Opera Gifts include: Giclée Art Prints, Art Cards, our Leatherbound journals (which make wonderful diaries and sketchbooks), Postcards, iPhone Wallpapers, and More.

The artwork is created by designer Elizabeth E. Schuch, working with local artisans in the UK and Society6 in the USA to produce gifts. Elizabeth has worked with Shakespeare's Globe, The Metropolitan Opera, The Seattle Opera, The Royal National Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, and other venues around the world to create illustrations based in the world of drama.

Tudor Portraits

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Makers on makers: Elizabeth E. Schuch on 'The Seeds and Fruits of English Poetry' by Ford Madox Brown

Ford Madox Brown, The Seeds and Fruits of English Poetry, 1845, courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum

(From The Tate Britain Pre-Raphaelite Blog)

Illustrator and theatrical designer Elizabeth E. Schuch of Immortal Longings discusses how the work of the Pre-Raphaelites influences her own craft.

The blend of gothic arches and delicate grapevines winding across the page first caught my eye in The Seeds and Fruits of English Poetry.   When drawing my own illustrations from classic literature and poetry, I love to conjure up a mix of architectural elements and botanical fancies as the framework for setting the scene.  
The subtle humour with which the figures have been composed taps into Brown’s sense of fun in finding fresh new moments to capture from well-known stories and material.  Flanking panels reveal the poets themselves, caught up in a self-conscious moodiness, each trying to look more serious and melancholy than the next.  The mix of apathy and liveliness in the courtiers breathes life into to what could be a stiffly posed and structured scene, were it not the early work of a Pre-Raphaelite.
Finding inspiration from classical poetry gave the Brotherhood free reign to conjure up dramatic, evocative storytelling in their images that taps into the extreme moods of poetry and drama.  Lost love, bravery, betrayal…the heady mix of words and images is a perfect match for the realistically captured emotions on canvas.   When rendered in such naturalistic portrayal by talented painters like Brown, these classical and medieval subjects give us a glimpse into the souls of the characters in a fresh and vital way.  Shakespeare’s plot twists and tempests come alive in the billowing garments and wistful expressions of the Pre-Raphaelite painters like nowhere else.
As a designer, the cohesive crossover that happens between the different crafts of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is fascinating to me: nature is incorporated into motifs for textiles and architecture, then these in turn influence the composition of the paintings, popping up across the ornaments of illustrations and the flowing onto costumes of the poetic heroes.  The floral references in the poetry are turned into symbolic flourishes that make a framework for bringing the poetry to life on the page.  It’s a mesmerizing effect that joins the art of the wordsmith and the illustrator perfectly.
Elizabeth E. Schuch works as an illustrator and theatrical designer internationally, creating artwork inspired by Shakespeare and Opera. You can see her work at Late at Tate Britain on Friday 7 December 2012.

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