Collection of the week: Pauline Baynes
Collection of the week: Pauline Baynes

Pauline Baynes (1922-2008) is best-known for her book illustrations, particularly the magical pictures accompanying C. S. Lewis's Narnia Chronicles and novels by J. R. R. Tolkein, as well as hundreds of covers mostly for Puffin Books. However, she also had a fruitful association with the magazines in the Illustrated London News archive and contributed a number of illustrations and cover designs for The Sphere, Britannia & Eve and The Tatler throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.

Born in Hove, East Sussex in 1922, Pauline Baynes studied at Farnham School of Art and later at the Slade. During the Second World War, she worked in the camouflage unit of the Army and then for the Admiralty Hydrographic Department where she drew charts and maps, finely detailed work that was to later influence her illustrative style. Decorative, with an almost medieval delicacy, her pictures for the ILN titles, which usually appeared in their special Christmas numbers, cover a fascinating mix of themes including folklore, literature and history and her pictures, alive with well-researched detail, invite the viewers to study them. Among the images we have in this small, but perfectly formed collection is the appropriately titled 'Historyland' (see how many historical events you can identify) and an exquisite Tatler Christmas Number cover echoing her vision of C. S. Lewis's white witch.

We have an arrangement with Williams College in Massachussetts, who now manage the Estate of Pauline Baynes, to make her work for the ILN publications available for licensing. Do get in touch either by phone on 020 8318 0034 or by email to if you would like to discuss a project or have any questions.

Mary Evans Picture Library Ltd.  59 Tranquil Vale  Blackheath  London  SE3 0BS. United Kingdom.
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