Rene  Bull    (1870? —  1942)

He was born in Ireland, and while studying engineering in Paris met the illustrator Caran d'Ache. Inspired, he returned to London to study art to become an illustrator and "special artist"; i.e. those commissioned by magazines as war artists or to provide general pictorial studies of other countries (see A.B. Houghton in America).

Bull was appointed "special" for the "Black & White" magazine and witnessed the Armenian massacres, the war in Greece, visited the North West frontier of India and covered the Omdurman campaigns in the Sudan. He served in the First World War in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and the RAF.

Rene Bull was a first class artist and a brilliantly comic illustrator. His version of the Arabian Nights is one of the best, no subject being beyond his imagination or wonderful comic invention. Rene Bull's small black and white line drawings with which he decorated his chapter headings were used again by the US publisher Dodd Mead in the E.J. Detmold edition of 1925 unacknowledged. His black and white drawings were also used without acknowledgement in an edition published by The John C. Winston Company, Philadelphia, 1920. This edition included four inept colour plates with one pastedown on the cover, done in a grossly sentimental style by Adelaide H. Bolton. The "Sixty Illustrations" are all from the original Rene Bull edition of 1912. The publication was repeated for schools in 1924 with the illustrator's name changed to Adeline H. Bolton.

He saw before him a vast building of polished marble

The genie gave a loud and terrible cry

He made her sit down by him

Text © Copyright 2005, Rob Hafernik and Margaret Renault, All Rights Reserved. Feedback