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Charles Conder and the Rubaiyat – Some new research findings

July 13, 2017

Bob Forrest has added yet another name to the impressive list of people associated with the Rubaiyat that he has documented on his wide-ranging website.  This time the person is Charles Conder (1868–1909), an English artist who also worked for a time in Australia as well as in various European countries.

As Bob documents, ‘in the 1890s Conder met and became associated with Aubrey Beardsley, Ernest Dowson, Arthur Symons, Charles Ricketts and Will Rothenstein, not to mention the likes of Oscar Wilde, Max Beerbohm and Toulouse–Lautrec’.  Conder did not produce illustrations in a published edition of the Rubaiyat, though he had had hopes of doing so in the early 1890’s.  However several of his individual drawings relate to FitzGerald’s version of the poem, including quotes from the text.  And Conder inserted a set of nine hand produced illustrations in a copy of Macmillan’s 1891 edition of the Rubaiyat (an example is shown here).

This copy is now in a private collection to which Bob has had access, and his article includes reproductions of the Conder illustrations.  There is also much comment and analysis of Conder’s inspiration for his interpretation of the quatrains and other paintings.  The full article can be accessed at http://www.bobforrestweb.co.uk/The_Rubaiyat/N_and_Q/Charles_Conder/Charles_Conder.htm .

Thank you, Bob, for illuminating one more corner of Rubaiyat history.

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