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H.P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Artists
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Anthony Angarola

“There’s something those fellows catch—beyond life—that they’re able to make us catch for a second. Doré had it. Sime has it. Angarola of Chicago has it. And Pickman had it as no man ever had it before or—I hope to heaven—ever will again.” (“Pickman’s Model,” 1926)

“Sorry to hear that Angarola is dead. He almost illustrated my ‘Outsider’—that is, he read it & told Wright he’d like to illustrate it just after the present illustration had been made & purchased!” (to Richard Ely Morse, 28 July 1932)

Gustave Doré (Gustave Doré Art Collections)

“I began to have nightmares of the most hideous description, peopled with things which I called ‘night-gaunts’—a compound word of my own coinage. I used to draw them after waking (perhaps the idea of these figures came from an edition de luxe of Paradise Lost with illustrations by Doré, which I discovered one day in the east parlour).” (to Rheinhart Kleiner, 16 November 1916)

Virgil Finlay (The Virgil Finlay Information Pages)

“I’ve recently come into touch with Finlay, & find him a most unusual & brilliant character. He’s only 22, & a resident of his native city of Rochester, N.Y. He is a poet of no mean attainments as well as an artist—though of course pictorial art is his primary medium. In future years I feel certain that he will become an artist of distinction, so that the WT group will fee very proud of having known him in his youth.... All of Finlay’s WT work is good—especially the designs for your Lost Paradise & Bloch’s Faceless God. Bloch tells me that Wright considers the latter the finest illustration ever drawn for WT, & that the original hangs framed in the office.” (to Catherine L. Moore, mid-October 1936)

“I liked the Finlay illustrations to my two tales—indeed, I believe Finlay is the best all-around artist Weird Tales has ever had. His drawing for the Doorstep was really an imaginative masterpiece. Wright has generously presented me with the originals of both Haunter and Doorstep pictures—and they far transcend the mechanical reproductions.” (to James F. Morton, March 1937)

Johann Heinrich Füssli (Henry Fuseli) (Wikipedia)

“Any magazine-cover hack can splash paint around wildly and call it a nightmare or a Witches’ Sabbath or a portrait of the devil, but only a great painter can make such a thing really scare or ring true. That’s because only a real artist knows the actual anatomy of the terrible or the physiology of fear—the exact sorts of lines and proportions that connect up with latent instincts or hereditary memories of fright, and the proper colour contrasts and lighting effects to stir the dormant sense of strangeness. I don’t have to tell you why a Fuseli really brings a shiver while a cheap ghost-story frontispiece merely makes us laugh.” (“Pickman’s Model,” 1926)

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Erik Weems’ GOYA)

“Another artist who went even farther than Hogarth in depicting human bestiality is the Spaniard, Goya.” (to William Lumley, 21 December 1931)

William Hogarth (Wikipedia)

“This antient and pestilential reticulation of crumbling cottages and decaying doorways was like nothing I had ever beheld save in a dream—it was the 18th century of Goya, not of the Georges; of Hogarth, not of Horace Walpole.” (to Maurice W. Moe, 24 November 1923)

John Martin (Iconography of “Paradise Lost”: John Martin)

“Under Lovemanic guidance I looked up engravings of his work in the N.Y. Public Library, & was enthralled by the darkly thunderous, apocalyptically majestic, & cataclysmically unearthly power of one who, to me, seemed to hold the essence of cosmic mystery... He was, in a sense, a Milton among painters.... Night; great desolate pillared halls; unholy abysses & blasphemous torrents; terraced titan cities in far, half-celestial backgrounds whereon shines the light of no familiar sky of men’s knowing; shrieking mortal hordes borne downward over vast wastes & down cyclopean gulfs where Phlegethon & Archeron flow; these are the dominant impressions one (i.e., myself, at least!) carries away from the study of a set of Martin engravings.” (to Vincent Starrett, 10 January 1928)

Nicholas Roerich (Nicholas Roerich Museum)

“Merritt has a wide acquaintance among mystical enthusiasts, and is a close friend of old Nicholas Roerich, the Russian painter whose weird Thibetan landscapes I have so long admired.” (to Robert H. Barlow, 13 January 1934)

“Better than the surrealists, though, is good old Nick Roerich, whose joint at Riverside Drive and 103rd Street is one of my shrines in the pest zone. There is something in his handling of perspective and atmosphere which to me suggests other dimensions and alien orders of being—or at least, the gateways leading to such. Those fantastic carven stones in lonely upland deserts—those ominous, almost sentient, lines of jagged pinnacles—and above all, those curious cubical edifices clinging to precipitous slopes and edging upward to forbidden needle-like peaks!” (to James F. Morton, March 1937)

Sidney Sime (The Sidney Sime Page)

“Yes—Sime does splendid teamwork with Dunsany, seeming to share his bizarre & individual vision as few could. He is an old man, largely retired from active work, & Dunsany has to prod him considerably to get the few illustrations he wants.” (to Robert H. Barlow, 14 March 1933)

 
 
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