Faith Jaques

Faith Jaques (British b. 1923)

Forn in Leicester in 1923, Faith Jaques left school at fifteen to study at the School of Art in that city during the war (1941-42). She went on to serve with the WRNS during the latter part of the war, whilst simultaneously continuing her studies at Oxford School of Art under William Roberts and Bernard Meninsky. In 1946, she moved to the Central School of Art in London and then went on to become a visiting lecturer at Guildford School of Art and at Hornsey College of Art.

Jaques began to receive commissions for illustrations while still a student and, as a freelance artist, she has illustrated many books for a wide variety of publishers. Perhaps her most high-profile, and certainly most long-lasting, commission was the great series of illustrations that she produced for the Radio Times over a 23-year period between 1949 and 1973, from which these black-and-white drawings of scenes from classic books come. As well as illustrating children’s literature by many famous authors, Jaques has also written three children’s books which she illustrated herself.

Martin comments on one of the present drawings: “She has clearly studied the character [of Soames Forsyte] and come to a definite view of what he looked like. Her style of drawing has a flavour of the period, but this in itself would be no substitute for an accurate reading of the text.” (Martin: 67).

References: Horne: 261; Martin, D. The Telling Line: Essays on Fifteen Contemporary Book Illustrators, 1989.