Hamlet and the Ghost -Shakespeare's Hamlet illustrations by John Austen

I think if British illustrator John Archibald Austen (1886-1948) had been living a few decades later, in the second half of the 20th century, today he would probably be known as a brilliant graphic novel artist. To back up my theory, I think it’s enough to take a close look at one of his earlier works, a black-and-white illustrated version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, published in 1922 by Selwyn & Blount in London.

Alberto Sangorski, illuminated Songs and sonnets by William Shakespeare

Alberto Sangorski was an extraordinarily talented calligrapher and illuminator of the early 20th century, who produced several lavishly decorated manuscripts for works of William Shakespeare, Lord Tennyson, Edgar Allan Poe, and other great poets. His works are characterized by a distinct semi-Gothic script style, with beautifully detailed, illuminated borders and initials heightened with gold leafs, and inserted watercolor miniatures referencing famous paintings by earlier and contemporary artists like English Pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse. He has worked with Riviére & Son and Sangorski & Sutcliffe, the two legendary book binder companies of the era, producing one of a kind books that are considered beautiful artifacts.

Modiano poster with the smoking full moon by Kónya Zoltán

An insight into the design history of the vintage advertising posters created for Modiano S. D. cigarette papers by Hungarian artist. From the early 20s to the late 30s, a dozen Hungarian designers – among them internationally recognized artists – took their turn and created advertising posters for Modiano. Bortnyik Sándor, Berény Róbert, Victor Vasarely (Vásárhelyi Győző), Irsai István, Kónya Zoltán, Bíró Mihály, Molnár C. Pál., Farkas Endre, Lányi Imre, ifj. Richter Aladár all had their distinct style that resulted in a row of posters telling different stories with different visual language, but with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor, often referencing each other’s ideas in their designs. Some of these posters became design icons – probably the most famous are Bortnyik’s Bauhaus style series and Berény’s Art Deco poster with the smoking man in black hat.


Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766) was an Italian artist and lay Jesuit brother who spent most of his life in the Qing court of the Chinese Emperor as official principal court painter under the name Lang Shining. Castiglione forged a new style, adapting the taste and tradition of Chinese style painting and combining its elements with his Western training in art. Among his most beautiful works is an album that is considered a masterpiece of the Yongzheng period: Immortal Blossoms In An Everlasting Spring (Xian’e Changchun) – 16 leaves of traditional flower-and-bird silk paintings created in his merged style between 1723-35.