Modern Artists: Barry Windsor Smith

Icarus © Barry Windsor Smith 1981

The fine art and graphic illustrations of Barry Windsor Smith (BWS) carry an aching beauty. Every line is lovingly crafted, every colour is imbued with care and elegance.

I first encountered his illustrations in the Marvel Conan stories, Tower of the Hierophant I think, to which he brought a splendour and power rarely seen in comics. Briefly he associated with fellow travellers Jeffrey Jones, Michael Kaluta and Bernie Wrightson in the Studio of the late 1970s but this astonishing Icarus piece is one of his best ever paintings. The style is uniquely BWS but to my eye at least I can see Millais, Alma Tadema and Alphonse Mucha all lurking in the background, influencing the brushwork and the bold lines.

BWS has enriched many lives, including mine, so thank you Mr S.

Here’s a link to some of his other work, prints from his website, which represent more of his best work.