Bilibin – Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on November 24th, 2014

Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books

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.

Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books

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.

Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books

(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.

Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books

(above left) The illustration of rolling waves bear unmistakable resemblance to Hokusai’s work, a homage to Japanese printmaking art and Ukiyo-e.

Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books
Bilibin - The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books

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.

Bilibin – The Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books details :

– Dimensions – 18.2 x 1.5 x 25.6 cm
– Softcover, 136 pages pages
– Full color, in Japanese

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7 Responses to “Bilibin – Golden Age Of Russian Picture Books Art Book Review”

Kenouki

The art looks beautiful. Russian folk themes are very charming. What a surprise to have a japanese recopilation of this illustrations.

yonghow

Kenouki – Western art is very appreciated in Japan, so you can actually find lots of art books like these in many of the bookstores in Tokyo. :]

vegastar7

I actually own about four of Bilibin’s illustrated books….well they’re french editions. Very big fan of his work. Does this book include all of his work ? And are there a lot of pages with just text? I might need to get this if it’s very picture heavy.

yonghow

vegastar – The book is mostly images, with accompanying text on some pages. I’m afraid I don’t know Bilibin’s body of work well enough to say if it contains all his works, but it is a sizable collection. Hope that helps a little !

Leah

If you don’t mind, would you do an book review on a Harry Clark book? I am interested in many artists of the Golden Age of Illustration 🙂

yonghow

Leah – I’ve seen a Japanese version of his art book before I think. I’ll keep it in view ! :]

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  1. • Iván Yákovlevich Bilibin (1876 – 1942). | Observando el paraíso