Monday, December 27, 2010

The Elegant Illustrations of Elliott Banfield

Elliott Banfield (b. 1945) is a contemporary illustrator whose masterful line work is reminiscent of fine engravings from another time. His work has appeared for years in the New York Times Book Review and in many other publications, including The Wall Street Journal, American Heritage and Time magazine.

New York Times Book Review

James Baldwin, New York Times Book Review

John Updyke, New York Times Book Review

Banfield studied architecture, printmaking and painting before becoming an illustrator. His distinctive classical style has remained through transitions from ...

... pen and ink drawing ...

A pen and ink drawing for American Heritage

... to scratchboard illustration ...

A scratchboard illustration

... to computer illustration ...

George Will, a computer illustration

Illustration for the Claremont Review of Books

Detail of an illustration of Winston Churchill for American Spectator, from a Karsh photograph

Banfield's line work is often compared to that of the 19th century French master,
J. J. Grandville.

Detail of an illustration by J. J. Grandville

Illustration for the American Enterprise Institute

Above is a computer illustration of the Supreme Court, by Elliott Banfield.
An extensive portfolio of his work can be found here.


  1. What amazing technique and orginal vision. At times when I look at such work, I think I prefer illustration over fine or serious artwork such as grand and great paintings.

    A larger example of this work would be interesting wall art in a modern interior.

    Thank you Mark.

  2. Thanks, Scott and Terry!

    Terry, you've got a super decorating idea! I've found that fine-lined artwork (like engravings) take on a very rich quality - Ill call it "nubbiness" - when greatly enlarged. I've seen that's also true with handwriting.