We love gnome art. Gnomes have appeared in many art forms over the last 150 years. In the late nineteenth century they were used on posters, leaflets, books, postcards and advertising materials of all types and it was common to find gnomes advertising anything from soap and beer to cutlery and sewing machines and even laxatives. They were cheerful characters offended no one and were appealing to adults and children alike.
So who are the gnome artists? Here are some of our favourite animators, artists and story tellers from the past and present - their work is amazing!
Jenny Nyström (1854 -1946) was a prolific painter and was best known for her Christmas artwork. She represented her artwork in the image of a gnome-like character, the julttomte, from Swedish folklore. Her postcards are beautiful.
Rien Poortvliet (1932-1995) partnered with Wil Huygen to create their famous 'Gnomes' book, a fictional guide book that documents their characteristics, behaviours and habitats.
Sir Peter Blake designed one of the most iconic pop art images for the Beatles album "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band". There many people on the album cover including Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, but look closely and you will see there is also a gnome in the picture.
Kiri Østergaard Leonard is an award winning fantasy artist and her artwork reflects Nordic myth, folklore and fairy tales. She is an accomplished storyteller and we love her Sleeping Gnome (thank you to Kiri for allowing us to use her picture). You can check out more of her art at www.kirileonard.com and you can see her illustration on the Gnomes At Midnight Board Game available below.
A mystery street artist has been "gnoming around" claiming their artwork is better than Banksy. Gnome street art pieces have been randomly appearing around Skegness, a British seaside resort. They are cheeky.
Take a good look around you. There are more gnomes around than you think .... and they are all not sat tending your garden!
The Gnome Lady
- Gnomeland an introduction to the little people. Author: Margaret Egleton, 2007
- Kiri Leonard: www.kirileonard.com
- BBC: Banksy teased by Skegness gnome street artist: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-48884145
- Daily Mail: Garden gnome which featured on The Beatles iconic Sergeant Pepper's album cover sells https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3049171/Garden-gnome-featured-Beatles-iconic-Sergeant-Pepper-s-album-cover-sells-29-000.html