Wednesday, 10 July 2019

James Allen St. John - part 1

James Allen St. John (1872 Chicago – 1957 Chicago) was an American author, artist and illustrator. He is especially remembered for his illustrations for the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, though he illustrated works of many types. He taught at the Chicago Art Institute and the American Academy of Art. He is considered by many to be 'The Godfather of Modern Fantasy Art'. His most famous disciples were Roy Krenkel and Frank Frazetta, the latter of whom has also been styled as the grandmaster of the Genre.

 An Edgar Rice Burroughs cover by J. Allen St. John

St. John's artistic career began in 1898. He studied at the Art Students League of New York. This was followed by his first commercial relationship with the New York Herald. During this period he spent time in Paris from 1906 to 1908 at the Académie Julian, then moved to Chicago around 1912 and would eventually live at Tree Studios art colony until his death. While in Chicago he became close friends with artist Louis Grell. Here he began his work with the publisher A.C. McClurg & Co., although he had already produced his best-known work for this publisher back in 1905, “The Face in the Pool,” which he had both written and illustrated.

This is part 1 of a 5-part series on the works of James Allen St. John:

1905 The Face in the Pool 
published by McClurg, Chicago:

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1909 Vogue magazine 18 March 1909
cover by J. Allen St. John

1912 Woman's World May issue
cover by J. Allen St. John

1916 The Beasts of Tarzan
by Edgar Rice Burroughs:


1917 Just Folks
cover by J. Allen St. John

1917 Just Folks
preliminary sketch by J. Allen St. John

1919 Jungle Tales of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs
cover by J. Allen St. John

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