Jiri Trnka, illus. for Andersen's Fairy Tales, 1959
Jiri Trnka (1912 - 1969) is well-known (relatively-speaking) for his brilliant animated puppet movies. He has even been dubbed the "Walt Disney of the East." Recently I discovered that this Czech artist also illustrated children's books throughout his career. Many of these books were published in English from the fifties to the seventies, though none are currently in print.
I feature here his work for Leuchtkaferchen (trans. as Fireflies in the 1970 English edition) and the Fairy Tales of Andersen (first published in 1959; I'm working with a 1973 English reprint from Hamlyn).
I have the Artemis Verlag edition of Fireflies. The printing of this book is just stunning. It makes me remember that printers can be artists too. Because the book is over-sized, I had to crop the images a little.
Since many others have covered Trnka's work, I'll shut-up and point you to them:
- one1more2time3 provides more of Trnka's illustration work (I'm coveting his collection!)
- notcoming covers the puppet films
- Michael Sporn on Trnka