YOU will know John Hassall’s work. The book illustrator, painter and poster artist is the man behind the famous poster from of 1908 of a fisherman skipping down the beach above the legend “Skegness is SO bracing.”

Hassall (1868 – 1948) was one of Britain’s best-known artists in the early years of the 20th century. His distinctive use of bold, flat colours saw him acclaimed as “the poster king.”

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His wife Isabella Dingwall was from Helensburgh and Hassall, originally from Kent, had a long association with Scotland in his work, most notably with his illustrations for JJ Bell’s Wee Macgreegor whose stories first appeared in The Evening Times (as the Glasgow Times was then known).

John Hassall: The Life and Art of the Poster King, a sumptuously illustrated new book by Lucinda Gosling, explores the artist’s work in the first half of the twentieth century and before. It includes this art nouveau-influenced poster for Little Red Riding Hood from 1898.

John Hassall: The Life and Art of the Poster King by Lucinda Gosling published by Unicorn, £30. An accompanying exhibition at the Heath Robinson Museum in London opens on May 22. Image courtesy Twentieth Century Posters