The Three Ravens: Design for a Song Book (pencil, pen & grey ink and w/c heightened with white), Crane, Walter (1845-1915) / Private Collection / Photo Â© Christie's Images / The Bridgeman Art Library
Children’s illustrator Walter Crane (1845 – 1915) was nearly a child himself when he first gained recognition. At age 13, he created designs for the poem, “The Lady of Shalott,” which impressed famous engraver William James Linton enough to offer him an apprenticeship. Crane's groundbreaking illustrations, influenced by Japanese prints, mirror their flat color and bold lines. Also a landscape and portrait artist, Crane is best known for his illustrations for Spenser, Hawthorne and Grimm. Today, Crane is still acclaimed as an important and innovative children’s book illustrator.