Robert Ingpen: a rebel against mediocrity

Robert Ingpen’s friend Michael Page, a South Australian author, who collaborated with Ingpen producing a few books together, regards him as “…one of those rare figures on the modern artistic scene: a man with complete control of pure line and pure colour. He desires only to learn how to use them better, without diverting into impressionism or any other technique, which may camouflage an artist’s true ability”.¹

Robert Ingpen, however, refuses calling himself an “artist”, preferring the term “illustrator” which, as Page put it, “is an incredibly modest description”.¹ Page recalls a conversation with Robert about the conventional perception of an artist as “a rebel against conformity”; a perception, which Ingpen’s ordered life and representational artistic style grounded in studies of classical drawing, didn’t quite fit. To this Ingpen is said to have replied: “But I am a rebel. A rebel against mediocrity”.²

An award-winning illustrator, story-teller, designer, passionate conservation supporter, still illustrating today at the age of 80, Robert Ingpen and his creative life are an inspiration. Over a 100 books he has chosen to work on throughout his career add up to a library in its own right ranging from unabridged classics illustrated over the last decade to fairy tales, rhymes, fiction, historic and scientific texts and last but not least his own fantasy stories. Watch out for separate posts on these books in the near future.

Robert Ingpen: a rebel against mediocrity Robert Ingpen Illustrators Ingpens books

To read more about Robert Ingpen and see more of his fabulous books click here.


[1] Angela Ingpen and Michael Page, 1980, Robert Ingpen, Macmillan Company of Australia, Melbourne, p. 87.

[2] Angela Ingpen and Michael Page, p. 88.

Image of Robert Ingpen in his studio at the start of the post is from

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Tudor Bragaru
Tudor Bragaru
8 years ago

Do you have something translated in Russian or Romanian language?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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