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Tuesday, 8 November 2016
THE BIBLICAL ART OF JACK HAYES...
Copyright relevant owner
Don't panic you lot, you're not about to get a BIBLE lesson. Here's the scoop. Back around 1971 (certainly no earlier than 1970), my mother took me to the shops one day after school and bought me 'The Good Book'. I no longer remember exactly what became of it, but I do recall inadvertently inflicting some damage to the cover under the dustjacket, which bothered me somewhat.
A few years later, in 1977 (no later than '78), I saw its double in another local bookshop and, purely out of a sense of nostalgia, bought it for myself. I'd always been fascinated by the interior illustrations of JACK HAYES, a very talented artist. In my original copy, there was a note on the inside of the dustjacket which said that a new process had been used to reproduce the colour plates, which rendered them almost photographic in appearance.
And it was true! I used to look at these plates and marvel at the fact they'd been created by human hands, rather than being captured by a camera. In my new copy there was no such note (being an edition from 1975), and the illustrations didn't appear quite so photographic in nature, but they were still exceptional examples of artistic accomplishment.
When I bought the new copy, I no longer had my original so couldn't do a direct comparison, alas - but there was definitelya subtle difference. Still, it was great to see the pictures again after all this time. 'All this time'? In fact, it had only been about six years, but seemed like a lifetime ago, such is the puzzling passage of time when one is still a relative youngster.
Anyway, I thought I'd share the illustrations with you here, just to push the parameters of this blog's content. Aren't they fantastic? I don't know much about the artist, apart from the fact that he did some paperback book covers, and some illustrations for LOOK & LEARN magazine. Let's hear your views about Jack Hayes' work in the ever-lovin' comments section.
Looking at these pictures now, I'm back in the bed- room of my old house, so strong is the association in my mind between the illustrations and where I lived at the time. However, considering that I had this Bible for only around a year (perhaps approaching two at the very most) before we flitted elsewhere, I'm amazed that it now feels like I owned it for the entire 6 years 7 months I stayed there, rather than just the short period of time it actually was.