Romantic Illustration Network 

U3A Workshops 2017

RIN has entered an exciting new partnership with House of Illustration to host a series of three workshops for members of the University of the Third Age (U3A). Each workshop includes a seminar by a current RIN member on some aspect of the history of illustration, a special gallery tour and a practical session in which a professional illustrator will lead all of us as we create art of our own. No prior knowledge or artistic training is expected – the goal of each event is learning for the pleasure of learning. All events are open U3A members and their friends.

Check back regularly for full details of the workshops, which will be posted here.


Making Medieval: Illustrating the Middle Ages

from Chaucer to Morris

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

10am – 1pm

House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4BH

To book a place, visit the House of Illustration Events Page.

From illuminated manuscripts to William Caxton’s woodcuts, from Kelmscott Press to contemporary fantasy novels, English books about the Middle Ages have relied on illustrations to bring their stories to life. Looking at examples of illustrations produced over five centuries – from The Canterbury Tales to the 1830 illustrated edition of Ivanhoe – we will consider the many ways English readers have dreamed and drawn the Middle Ages.


Dustin Frazier Wood will lead participants in an examination of illuminations in works such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and Ellesmere Manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. We will consider not only the images themselves, but how they were made: what kinds of materials were used, how the images are arranged in relation to their texts, and what the images say about who read medieval manuscripts. In the second half of the seminar we will look at examples of how illuminations inspired artists and publishers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Highlights will include William Blake’s ‘illuminated’ manuscripts, illustrations for Ivanhoe, early reproductions of the Bayeux Tapestry, and the rise of Victorian medievalism in illustrations for Arthurian poetry and children’s stories.


Following the seminar, illustrator Merlin Strangeway will lead participants in a fun and accessible workshop exploring illuminated initials. Each participant will create an illustrated letter, illuminated with a creature from medieval folklore – to end up with a collaborative “Book of Beasties” on parchment-style paper, and decorated with gold.



Book your place now.