Glow Worms And Fireflies In Art And Illustration

Glow Worms And Fireflies In Art And Illustration

For people living through the Victorian era, if a firefly ever came into your home, this meant someone would die soon.

Also in Japan, fireflies symbolise the human soul and prefigure death. Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies uses this symbolism most obviously.

From Japanese children’s magazine, Kodomo no kuni.
Gyo Fujikawa  glow worms
Gyo Fujikawa glow worms
Okoson Ohara, Fireflies, 1934
Okoson Ohara, Fireflies, 1934
Japanese Fireflies over the Uji River by Moonlight
Haruyo Kawashima, illus. for Kansatsu ehon kindabukku, vol. 6, no. 7, 1933 glow worms
Haruyo Kawashima, illus. for Kansatsu ehon kindabukku, vol. 6, no. 7, 1933 glow worms
Annie Louisa Swynnerton (British painter) 1844 – 1933 The Glow Worm
Annie Louisa Swynnerton (British painter) 1844 – 1933 The Glow Worm
October, 1916 magazine cover art by C Coles Phillips
October, 1916 magazine cover art by C Coles Phillips
DUANE BRYERS (American, 1911-2012) Hilda Chasing Fireflies at Nightfall, Brown & Bigelow
DUANE BRYERS (American, 1911-2012) Hilda Chasing Fireflies at Nightfall, Brown & Bigelow
Broučci (Fireflies) classic children's book by Jan Karafiát, Czech, early 1870s. Illustration by Jiří Trnka
Broučci (Fireflies) classic children’s book by Jan Karafiát, Czech, early 1870s. Illustration by Jiří Trnka
Donn P. Crane (1878-1944) ‘How The Firefly Got His Light’ in Through The Wildwood 1946 Vol 3
Fanny Cory Cooney (1877-1972) from The Fairy Alphabet
The Elfin Knight, Gertrude Mittelmann. The Modern Gift Book for Children 1948 (accompanying the poem below)
A Fairy In Armor by Joseph Rodman Drake

He put his acorn helmet on;
It was plumed of the silk of the thistle down;
The corslet plate that guarded his breast
Was once the wild bee's golden vest;
His cloak, of a thousand mingled dyes,
Was formed of the wings of butterflies;
His shield was the shell of a lady-bug green,
Studs of gold on a ground of green;
And the quivering lance which he brandished bright,
Was the sting of a wasp he had slain in fight.
Swift he bestrode his fire-fly steed;
He bared his blade of the bent-grass blue;
He drove his spurs of the cockle-seed,
And away like a glance of thought he flew,
To skim the heavens, and follow far
The fiery trail of the rocket-star.
Edmund Dulac’s illustration for Shakespeare’s The Tempest, 1908 firefly
Fire Fly Dance Sheet Music cover, early 1900s
Fire Fly Dance Sheet Music cover, early 1900s
Sam and the Firefly (1958) by P. D. Eastman
Anne of Green Gables illustration by Hanuol (Kim Ji Hyuck). “A Night Full of Stars” imagines a land below us equally bright and starlit as the world above.
Glow Worms At The Gas Station (made with the help of Deep Dream Generator)