Bilibin & The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books is a gorgeous collection of Russian fairytale, fantasy and folklore illustrations, with focus on the work of Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin ( 1876-1942 ), who gained renown around the turn of the 19th century with his illustrations of Russian fairy tales.
I especially adore the usage of flat, monotone colors and the bold line work, which gives the illustrations a stylized look. The work of Moebius comes to mind, as do Alphonse Mucha. Bilibin himself was very influenced by Slavic folklore, a frequent subject matter of Mucha.
(above left) Koschei The Deathless, a character from Slavic folklore. Readers of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy will no doubt be familiar with this character, and Mignola have often mentioned the influence of Russian fairy tales on his work. Vasilisa The Beautiful and Baba Yaga are 2 more characters illustrated by Bilibin that have made appearances in Hellboy.
(above left) The illustration of rolling waves bear unmistakable resemblance to Hokusai’s work, a homage to Japanese printmaking art and Ukiyo-e.
A quaint collection of beautiful Russian fairy tale illustrations that can be thoroughly enjoyed even if you don’t understand the accompanying Japanese text. Highly recommended.
– Dimensions – 18.2 x 1.5 x 25.6 cm
– Softcover, 136 pages pages
– Full color, in Japanese
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