Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

Illustrator, Author

1888 – 1960


Who was Ida Rentoul Outhwaite?

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, also known as Ida Sherbourne Rentoul and Ida Sherbourne Outhwaite, was an Australian illustrator of children's books. Her work mostly depicted fairies.

Ida was born in Carlton, Victoria, the youngest child of four and second daughter of the Rev. Dr. John Laurence Rentoul, an Irish-born Presbyterian minister and academic, and his wife Annie Isobel. At the time of her birth Outhwaite's father was a professor at Ormond College, University of Melbourne, and later moderator-general of his church for 1912-14, and when the World War I broke out, chaplain-general of the Australian military forces. She was educated at Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne.

She married Arthur Grenbry Outhwaite on 8 December 1909 and thereafter was generally known as Ida Rentoul Outhwaite. Before this she had variously signed her work I.S.R. and at some point changed this to I.R.O. She also occasionally used I.S.R.O. and full spellings rather than abbreviations.

Outhwaite worked predominantly with pen and ink, and watercolour.

Outhwaite's first illustration was published by New Idea magazine in 1904 when she was just 15 years of age - it accompanied a story written by her older sister, Anne Rattray Rentoul. In the years that followed, the sisters collaborated on a number of stories. Following her marriage to Grenbry Outhwaite in 1909, she also collaborated with her husband - most notably for The Enchanted Forest, The Little Fairy Sister and Fairyland. In a number of cases, her children - Robert, Anne, Wendy and William - served as models for her illustrations.

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Jun 9, 1888
Also known as
  • Ida Sherbourne Rentoul
  • Ida Sherbourne Outhwaite
  • Australia
  • Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne
Jun 25, 1960

on July 23, 2013


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