Ivan Bilibin

As promised, let´s go to good old Russia.

Ivan Bilibin was a russian illustrator that was very interested in the original folklore of his country and he wrote a book about it. So as you can imagine he also illustrated many of those tales he loved so much. Also he was into politics and theatre but the fairy tales art is his most famous stuff.

Not many books you can find about him. In Russian there are a few of his fairy tales books available as well as some monographic books, but in english is a different landscape. You can see some of his art in the big fat book Fairy Tales from Russia, some day to be reviewed here, and also in the book we have here today, appropriately called Ivan Bilibin, by Sergei Golynets.

This book was published in 1982, so it is pretty much out of print, though still you can find it from time to time in Amazon or eBay at pretty reasonable prices (the hardcover being much more expensive than the softcover I have here). 226 pages and pretty good paper and reproduction.

Inside we can find samples of all sides of Bilibin art, and it s quite wonderful. Full page color illustrations, black and white art, watercolors,  book covers, costume designs, landscapes, portraits… Bilibin was a master of exquisite taste and skills.

The text, in english, explains a bit about Ivan´s motivations, influences (like Japanese woodcut prints or Art Noveau) and artistic goals. Interesting and informative. At the end of the book we have an excellent biography with many pictures of Ivan, an exhibitions list,  catalogue, and bibliography.

This is really a great book about great artist. Go for it!


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