Archers are cool, there’s just no two ways about it. There is something particularly elegant about the bow and arrow. It’s a romantic weapon that exudes competence and stealthy precision. So, next up in my “Picturing” series of obsessive image collections is an ode to all manner of marksmen, from pre-history to future times.
Above, The Hunt by Odd Nerdrum.
High society bow and arrow from Jean-Marc Nattier.
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s Telemachus.
Giuseppe Crespi with a really lovely Eros.
One of a number of paintings by Charles Vess for an illustrated edition of A Storm of Swords.
This post could be solid N.C. Wyeth. Here’s the title page for his illustrated Robin Hood.
Donato Giancola’s cover for the fantasy novel The Last Paladin.
The cover for At the Earth’s Core by my favorite of the pulp artists, J. Allen St. John. St. John did many great paintings for Burroughs’ stories through the early 20th century.
Jeff Jones’ cover for Sons of the Bear God.
Lucas Graciano, a young painter carrying on the traditions of the Golden Age illustrators.
I’m not sure who’s saying “Bring it!” louder in this one from Kekai Kotaki—the centaur, the demon, or the brush strokes.
Virginia Lee Burton did a nice series of stylized black and whites for one of the many editions of Robin Hood.
Just about anyone that I told I was building a collection of archery paintings jumped to tell me about this William Russell Flint....and with good reason.
John Liston Byam Shaw’s leaping Artemis.
Because you really can’t have too much Wyeth, two more from Robin Hood....
Modern archers from German expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
A rare case where I’ll show a detail of a painting....but I came across this selection of Kekai Kotaki’s larger painting and loved it just as much as the full image. Be sure to check out the rest here.
The great French surrealist Moebius.
Victo Ngai’s amazing linework and design for the finiancial magazine Plansponsor. For those outside of the illustration community—Plansponsor, under the direction of AD Soojin Buzelli, is the leading edge of illustration.
Charlotte Harding—like Wyeth, she was a student of Howard Pyle’s. Like Wyeth and Pyle, she tackled her own Robin Hood.
A fairly strange painting by Harry Brooker of a bunch of young boys not being very nice to someone’s little sister.
The current reigning marksman, The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen as portrayed by Adam Schumpert.
Kaare Andrews’ Hawkeye.
Brom, very deftly depicting the still moment after the arrow flies...with exactly four to go.
Edward Burne-Jones, Cupid’s Hunting Fields:
Frank Stockton’s take on The Hunger Games.
Jeff Jones was just as amazing with pen and ink as she ever was with oils.
Utagawa Toyokuni, one of the great printmakers of the late 18th century.
James Jean did a lot of cool Green Arrow covers, and this is one of them (looking a lot like the digital cousin of the wood print above!)
Chris Rahn and a woodland elf. I love the simplicity of the bow in this—nothing over the top, just elegant utility.
John R. Neill—the “Imperial Illustrator of Oz”—with an ink rendering of Hiawatha.
An Artemis by Leo and Diane Dillon for C. M. Bowra’s Classical Greece.
Tiepolo has a surprising number of wonderful centaur drawings.
Contemporary Russian academic artist Sergey Chubirko.
Festival of the Archers by the enigmatically named Master of Frankfurt.
Carter Goodrich, a great illustrator turned great concept artist. Whatever else you can say about Brave, it looked amazing and Carter was one reason why.
The wonderful Russian illustrator Gennady Spirin.
Diana, via the School of Fontainebleau.
Kekai Kotaki’s cover for Peter Orullian’s The Unremembered.
J. C. Leyendecker, wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day.
Albert Vargas’ pin-up version of one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men.
Edo printmaker Utagawa Sadatora.
It may not be the pinnacle Disney of animation but I don’t care—I loved fox Robin when I was a kid.
Ilya Muromets and Nightingale the Robber, another Slavic folktale from Ivan Bilibin.
Greg Manchess, from his first children’s picture book, To Capture the Wind.
John Howe, one of the premiere Tolkien illustrators and concept artist on the Peter Jackson movies, giving us Legolas and Gimli.
Franz Stuck shows us a cupid who’s clearly up to something.
Raymond Swanland...everything badass.
You could call Tony DiTerlizzi a current artist in the long line of great fairy painters...except he’s so damn good at a million other things, as well.
A woodland elf for Magic: The Gathering by Steven Belledin.
Artist unknown, from the valley of Wadi Tashwinat.
Another great concept sketch of Brave’s Merida by Carter Goodrich.
Richard Anderson with some concept work for Guild Wars. (Be sure to check out his environment images, as well.)
Diana and Cupid by Pompeo Batoni. (The dog is very funny in this.)
Persian archer on a Greek vase (or some such vessel.)
Leo and Diane Dillion for the cover of The Golden God: Apollo, by Doris Gates.
Laura Laine, an Artemis with art deco flare.
Itailian comic book artist Sergio Toppi, an artists’ artist.
Another from Virginia Lee Burton’s Robin Hood.
Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin.
Of course we needed a St. Sebastian—this is one by Vincenzo Foppa.
Joshua Reynolds, society boys out for a hunt.
Giuseppe Crespi; the centaur Chiron instructs a young Achilles.
Irene Gallo is the Art Director for Tor Books.