Let’s take a look at some notable fairy tale illustrators, more or less in chronological order: George Cruikshank
To better compare, the following illustrators show Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.
Millicent Sowerby (no Sleeping Beauty available)
And then there’s Ivan Bilibin, who illustrated Russian folk tales, not European tales. So, technically, he doesn’t fit this list, but just LOOK at his art:
This last one (above) has motifs from early Russian embroidery in the borders! Bilibin created art that speaks in Russian. I love it!! I sure envy his talent.
These artists worked during the Golden Age of Illustration, which ran from the 1880s to the 1930s. Although magazines had been in business since before the Civil War, the illustrations they used had always been reproduced by hand-carving the artist’s work into woodblocks and printing it in black-and-white line. However, in the 1880s a halftone process became available that allowed for the direct reproduction of the artist’s work in all its nuances. By 1900 full-color reproduction techniques became refined enough to allow magazines to print at least the cover in color and book publishers to print a colored frontispiece. Because photography was still in its infancy and color photography unknown, there was a huge demand for illustrators. …The Golden Age of Illustration came to an end in the 1930s when advances in photographic reproduction and the advent of color photography gradually pushed the illustrators aside. Copied from: http://www.rafoxsociety.com/what-was-the-golden-age-of-illustration/ Here’s another website that explains more about the Golden Age of Illustration: http://www.slaphappylarry.com/picturebook-analysis-snow-white-as-illustrated-by-burkert-and-hyman/
After this golden age, the development of books published expressly for children continued to grow, but these were new stories, not a continuation of ancient fairy tales.