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Orlando Greenwood Illustrates the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

March 1, 2021

A couple of years ago, Danton O’Day drew our attention to some newly located illustrations for the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by the British artist Orlando Greenwood – see links at the end of this post. He also made some of the illustrations available in the form of a video. Now Danton has been able to publish the Greenwood illustrations in book form, as he describes below.

Orlando Greenwood (1892-1989) was a brilliant and talented artist.  A full member of the Royal Society of British Artists he is recognized for his architectural studies, landscapes and still life pictures. His paintings and prints are on sale/display at art galleries across the UK (e.g., Manchester City Galleries, Towneley Hall Art Gallery & Museum, Harris Museum & Art Gallery and Grundy Art Gallery) and are also available online.

The collection of pictures presented in this book were discovered by Jo Briony. The black and white images illustrating Edward FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam were done when Greenwood was a 21- to 22-year-old student at Goldsmiths’ College of Art. Greenwood appears to have felt a close relationship with the poetry. Now, for the first time, his Rubaiyat work is published in book form featuring nine of his illustrations plus a frontispiece image. The 6”x 9”, softcover book also explains the serendipitous discovery of these pictures and sheds some insight into Greenwood’s life and the selection of quatrains he illustrated.

The book reference is ISBN: 9781034492504. It is available online at Ingram and other online retailers, price US $19.99 (on Amazon UK, it is available at £17.49).

Earlier posts on this topic are: and

3 Comments leave one →
  1. David Bullivant permalink
    March 1, 2021 6:00 pm

    Please could you tell me if this book is a Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (ie containing all the verses) or a book about the illustrations?

  2. March 1, 2021 7:04 pm

    Hi David, After a short intro, the book consists of the first edition with illustrations inserted. It is up to the reader to evaluate Greenwood’s artistry, take care, Danton

  3. Marcello Moscoloni, Italy permalink
    April 2, 2021 4:16 pm

    My old Rabayyat have many illustration inserted. The painter is WILLY POGANY.

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