The Rhinegold and The Valkyrie – Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
The Ring of the Nibelung – Volume I
‘The Rhinegold and the Valkyrie’ was written by the German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883). The works are based loosely on characters from the Norse sagas, and are here translated into English by Margaret Armour. The chief components include ‘The Rhinegold’ – the prelude, ‘The Valkyrie’ – the first day of the trilogy, ‘Siegfried’ – the second day of the trilogy, and ‘The Twilight of the Gods’ – the third day of the trilogy. Initially establishing his reputation as a romantic composer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (‘total work of art’), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts.
The edition of ‘The Rhinegold and The Valkyrie’ is accompanied throughout by a series of dazzling colour and black and white illustrations – by a master of the craft; Arthur Rackham (1867-1939). One of the most celebrated painters of the British Golden Age of Illustration (which encompassed the years from 1850 until the start of the First World War), Rackham’s artistry is quite simply, unparalleled. Throughout his career, he developed a unique style, combining haunting humour with dream-like romance. Presented alongside the text, his illustrations further refine and elucidate Wagner’s captivating storytelling.