Randolph Caldecott. (1846-1886) "St. Valentine's Day."
From The Graphic. London: February 13, 1875. 12 x 9. Chromolithograph. Very good condition.
This charming scene of cupid as a letter carrier, delivering Valentine's Day greetings to the girls and women in a household bursts with details, such as a decorative border filled with flowers, leaves, putti and lovebirds. The poem below the image adds further:
British artist Randolph Caldecott was best known for his children's illustrations, and is the namesake for the annually awarded Caldecott medal for outstanding illustrations in a children's book. Caldecott also illustrated travel books, drew cartoons and humorous drawings of the famous and fashionable, created and exhibited sculptures, as well as painted in oil and watercolors. Caldecott, an older child of a large family, left school at 15 and was apprenticed to a bank, in which industry he worked for a little over ten years, while also pursuing his artistic avocation. At the age of 26, having achieved some success selling illustrations, he quit the banking business, moved to London, and began to support himself entirely through his art work, quickly gaining popularity with his young audience through annual publications available at Christmastime.