A centrepiece in the Illustrated London News, Christmas 1896, entitled The Christmas Tree. The artist, Lucien Davis, was a talented illustrator who specialised in society and leisure scenes. Before 1848, Christmas trees were a German custom, unusual in Britain. When the ILN’s Christmas issue of that year depicted the Royal Family gathered around their tree, it became a potent symbol of Victorian Christmas festivities

A centrepiece in the Illustrated London News, Christmas 1896, entitled The Christmas Tree. The artist, Lucien Davis, was a talented illustrator who specialised in society and leisure scenes. Before 1848, Christmas trees were a German custom, unusual in Britain. When the ILN’s Christmas issue of that year depicted the Royal Family gathered around their tree, it became a potent symbol of Victorian Christmas festivities

The Christmas cover of the Illustrated London News, 1886. The gentle tones aredue to the r...

The Christmas cover of the Illustrated London News, 1886. The gentle tones aredue to the r...

https://flic.kr/p/aDA4Dz | 1920 - The Farmer's Wife | Cover of the December 1920 issue of Farmer's Wife magazine.  Illustration by Le Roy Jansen.

https://flic.kr/p/aDA4Dz | 1920 - The Farmer's Wife | Cover of the December 1920 issue of Farmer's Wife magazine. Illustration by Le Roy Jansen.

Franziska Slopsnies [Franziska Schlopsnies], Meggendorfer-Blätter cover art, 1926

Franziska Slopsnies [Franziska Schlopsnies], Meggendorfer-Blätter cover art, 1926

The magic of Christmas has been inspiring artists for centuries. Historian Hannah Scally delves into the archives of the Illustrated London News – the world’s first pictorial newspaper.

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