John D. Batten

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One of Batten's illustrations for English Fairy Tales, 1895

John Dickson Batten (8 October 1860 – 5 August 1932), born in Plymouth, Devon, was a British painter of figures in oils, tempera and fresco and a book illustrator and printmaker. He was an active member of the Society of Painters in Tempera, with his wife Mary Batten, a gilder.


As a student at the Slade School of Fine Arts under Alphonse Legros he exhibited until 1887 at the Grosvenor Gallery with Sir Edward Burne-Jones. He indulged in mythological and allegorical themes.
Among Batten's paintings are The Garden of Adonis: Amoretta and Time, The Family, Mother and Child, Sleeping Beauty: The Princess Pricks Her Finger, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and Atalanta and Melanion.

In the 1890s, he illustrated a series of fairy tale books by Joseph Jacobs who was a member of the Folklore Society, notably English Fairy Tales (1890), Celtic Fairy Tales (1892 anthology), More Celtic Fairy Tales (1894) and More English Fairy Tales (1894).
Then they turned to fairy tales collected from continental Europe : Indian Fairy Tales (1912), European Folk and Fairy Tales (also known as Europa's Fairy Book)[1] (1916). He also illustrated English versions of Tales from the Arabian Nights and Dante's Inferno.

Jacobs published two books of poetry and a book on human flight.[2]

At the end of the 1890s he turned to the painting technique of egg tempera and played an important part in its revival with Birmingham artists such as Arthur Gaskin. He served as a Secretary to the Society of Painters in Tempera and published in 1922 an article on The Practice of Tempera Painting.



  1. ^ "SurLaLune Fairytales - Illustration Gallery - John D. Batten (1860-1932) British". Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Verses, Cambridge: Devana Press, 1893. Poems, London: Chiswick Press, 1916. An Approach to Winged Flight, Brighton (England): Dolphin Press, 1928.

Alan Windsor. (1998)Handbook of Modern British Painting and Printmaking, 1900-1990. Ashgate Publishing, 2nd edition. ISBN 1-85928-427-2 ISBN 978-1859284278.

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