MICHAEL FOREMAN RDI (Born 1938)

While Michael Foreman is perhaps best known as one of the most outstanding contemporary creators of children’s books, he is a wide-ranging artist, illustrating literary classics and working as a painter.

Michael Foreman was born in the read more...

While Michael Foreman is perhaps best known as one of the most outstanding contemporary creators of children’s books, he is a wide-ranging artist, illustrating literary classics and working as a painter.
Michael Foreman was born in the Suffolk fishing village of Pakefield on 21 March 1938. He studied art in Lowestoft, and in London at St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art. The latter awarded him a travel scholarship to the United States in 1963 and, following his graduation, he went back to Chicago to spend four months as Art Director of Playboy. In 1966, he returned to London to become Art Director for King, which had him produce all the illustrative work, in a variety of styles, even resorting to the use of pseudonyms. He has lectured at St Martin’s (1963-66), the London College of Printing (1966-68), the RCA (from 1968) and the Central School of Art (1972). On his discovery that he had purchased what was once John Hassall’s School of Art at Stratford Studios, he further followed in Hassall’s footsteps by becoming a member of the London Sketch Club.
From his first children’s book, The General (1961), Michael has treated his young readers as responsible and mature. This attitude of concern has made him a great original and has resulted in many honours.
Prizes have included the Aigle d’Argent at the Nice Festival International du Livre (1972), the National Art Library Illustration Award (1972 for Horatio and 1977 for Monkey and The Three Wizards), the Graphics Prize at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (1982 for City of Gold), the Kurt Maschler Award (1982 for Sleeping Beauty and Other Favourite Fairy Tales), the Kate Greenaway Medal (1982 for Long Neck and Thunder Foot, 1983 for Sleeping Beauty and Other Favourite Fairy Tales and 1989 for War Boy) and the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Gold Award) (1993 for War Game). In 1985, he was elected Royal Designer to Industry.
In 1990, Michael had his first selling show, a greatly successful event at Chris Beetles Gallery. Centring upon his recent book, Michael Foreman’s World of Fairy Tales, it acted as a consolidation of his career to date. His recurring interest in environment – both in terms of visual atmosphere and as a human issue – was particularly patent in much of the work on show. Since then his work has been a regular feature of the annual exhibition, The Illustrators, mounted by the Gallery.
Michael finds regular inspiration in Cornwall, where he lives when not in London.
His work is represented in the collections of the V&A.

Animal CharactersGiantsMagicFairy Tales
CatsFairy & FantasyChildren's LiteratureCows
Illustrations   
'MAMMY, MAMMY, CAN I HAVE SOME BREAD', SAID THE BABY 
FROM THE CRADLE by MICHAEL FOREMAN

'MAMMY, MAMMY, CAN I HAVE SOME BREAD', SAID THE BABY FROM THE CRADLE

AWAY I WINT, HEAD OVER HEELS, AND MY BRAINS WAS A'MOST KNOCKED OUT AGIN THE WALL by MICHAEL FOREMAN

AWAY I WINT, HEAD OVER HEELS, AND MY BRAINS WAS A'MOST KNOCKED OUT AGIN THE WALL

'HOULD HER- SHE ATE ONE PIPER ALREADY, THE VAGABONE, AND, BAD LUCK TO HER, SHE WANTS ANOTHER NOW'  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

'HOULD HER- SHE ATE ONE PIPER ALREADY, THE VAGABONE, AND, BAD LUCK TO HER, SHE WANTS ANOTHER NOW'

HAVING HER THERE AS A DUMB PERSON WAS FAR BETTER THAN NOT HAVING HER AT ALL by MICHAEL FOREMAN

HAVING HER THERE AS A DUMB PERSON WAS FAR BETTER THAN NOT HAVING HER AT ALL

HE DECIDED THAT THIS MUST BE WHAT THE JESTER FAIRY HAD TALKED ABOUT  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

HE DECIDED THAT THIS MUST BE WHAT THE JESTER FAIRY HAD TALKED ABOUT

THEY STARTED UPON THE COURTYARD AND THEY ATTACKED 
ONE ANOTHER AND STRUCK AT ONE ANOTHER, THE GIANT 
WITH HIS CLUB AND THE PRINCE WITH HIS SWORD by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THEY STARTED UPON THE COURTYARD AND THEY ATTACKED ONE ANOTHER AND STRUCK AT ONE ANOTHER, THE GIANT WITH HIS CLUB AND THE PRINCE WITH HIS SWORD

HIS WHITE CAT APPEARED WEARING A CROWN AND IN FULL REGALIA  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

HIS WHITE CAT APPEARED WEARING A CROWN AND IN FULL REGALIA

THE WHITE CAT by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THE WHITE CAT

THE MAIDENS  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THE MAIDENS

ONE GIANT CAUGHT HIM BY THE WAIST AND JUST PICKED HIM UP AS IF HE WERE A MATCHSTICK  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

ONE GIANT CAUGHT HIM BY THE WAIST AND JUST PICKED HIM UP AS IF HE WERE A MATCHSTICK

THIS THIRD CASTLE WAS THE MOST BEWITCHING OF ALL. IT LAY ON A PROMONTORY ABOVE THE SEA SHORE  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THIS THIRD CASTLE WAS THE MOST BEWITCHING OF ALL. IT LAY ON A PROMONTORY ABOVE THE SEA SHORE

SHE STRUCK ONE STONE WITH A LITTLE SILVER CHISEL AND AS SHE DID THE OTHER STONES FELL AWAY IN SHOWERS AND THEN BEGAN TO FORM THEMSELVES INTO THE FINEST AND MOST GRANDIOSE CASTLE.  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

SHE STRUCK ONE STONE WITH A LITTLE SILVER CHISEL AND AS SHE DID THE OTHER STONES FELL AWAY IN SHOWERS AND THEN BEGAN TO FORM THEMSELVES INTO THE FINEST AND MOST GRANDIOSE CASTLE.

SHE STRUCK ONE LITTLE CHIP FROM THE TREE WHICH TURNED INTO A BARREL AND THEN ANOTHER AND ANOTHER UNTIL THE WHOLE TREE HAD TURNED INTO BARRELS  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

SHE STRUCK ONE LITTLE CHIP FROM THE TREE WHICH TURNED INTO A BARREL AND THEN ANOTHER AND ANOTHER UNTIL THE WHOLE TREE HAD TURNED INTO BARRELS

HE WAS A BIG LOBBERY FELLOW WITH BLOODSHOT EYES, 
EACH ONE AS BIG AS A CLOCK by MICHAEL FOREMAN

HE WAS A BIG LOBBERY FELLOW WITH BLOODSHOT EYES, EACH ONE AS BIG AS A CLOCK

'FU FO FI FA' SHOUTED THE GIANT AS HE ENTERED THE GREAT HALL  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

'FU FO FI FA' SHOUTED THE GIANT AS HE ENTERED THE GREAT HALL

HE LAID HOLD OF THE BEAST'S EARS AND KEPT HIS GRIP  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

HE LAID HOLD OF THE BEAST'S EARS AND KEPT HIS GRIP

THE DRAGON APPEARED IN A MOST IMTEMPERATE RAGE, AND WHEN HE SAW THE HORSE HE DEVOURED IT, BONES AND ALL  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THE DRAGON APPEARED IN A MOST IMTEMPERATE RAGE, AND WHEN HE SAW THE HORSE HE DEVOURED IT, BONES AND ALL

BEIN' ALTOGETHER BAD TEMPERED AT THE TIME, HE LIFTED HIS HAND, AND HE MADE ONE GREAT SLAM AT THE DISH O'STIRABOUT, AND KILLED NO LESS THAN THREE SCORE AND TEN FLIES AT THE ONE BLOW by MICHAEL FOREMAN

BEIN' ALTOGETHER BAD TEMPERED AT THE TIME, HE LIFTED HIS HAND, AND HE MADE ONE GREAT SLAM AT THE DISH O'STIRABOUT, AND KILLED NO LESS THAN THREE SCORE AND TEN FLIES AT THE ONE BLOW

'THIS IS THE IDINTICAL HORSE FOR ME,' SAYS THE WEAVER by MICHAEL FOREMAN

'THIS IS THE IDINTICAL HORSE FOR ME,' SAYS THE WEAVER

SO JACK SAID GOODBYE TO THE MARE AND THE BEAR AND HE SET OFF  by MICHAEL FOREMAN

SO JACK SAID GOODBYE TO THE MARE AND THE BEAR AND HE SET OFF