Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Golden Book of Fairy Tales

This is another book that had a big influence on me when I was a little girl. I found the book again in my 30s and was just as smitten with the art. The artist is Adrienne Segur and I think from her, I learned how important the eyes are in the expression of a character.

The one thing I remember from this book was that there was a lot of crying, made more so because of the really large eyes.

Lots and lots of tears. Even the animals had large, soulful eyes (the swan in the above illustration has a falling tear too). Personal journeys were long and hard but eventually rewarded at the end with the life that was meant to be.

People and animals worked together and sometimes the animals became people and sometimes the people became animals. I had such a crush on this drawing of Kipp the falcon boy when I was little. :-)

This one illustration is so beautiful. I love how the little girl in the center has a glow around her. I also appreciate the accurate depiction of wild flowers around her and the accidental insect or bird that manage to get themselves into such scenes. As always, click on the image to see a larger version.

Some of the illustrations in the book are in full color and others are done just in pencil. I think the paintings started out like the detailed pencil drawings but then a watercolor wash was applied over each area that needed color. 

The book was originally published in France in 1956 but was republished in the U.S. a year or so later as "The Golden Book of Fairy Tales." However, it was republished again in its original large size in 1999 and is still available.  :-)


Mental P Mama said...

That is beautiful. Really beautiful. Sigh.

Country Girl said...

So gorgeous! Why can't I remember these things as you do? Was I obvivious to the art? I'm sure I must have read The Golden Book of Fairytales. I read lots of Golden Books.

shara said...

I love fairty tales and I love these illustrations. I think it is wonderful that these are some of the things that had such an influence on you.

kim said...

art in storybooks has always captivated me...I think I loved it just a tiny bit more than the actual story--but not much more :)

your blog has brought a tear to my eye, it's wonderful ....

Maria said...

Mental, I know. Aren't they? :-)

Kate-It's not one of those tiny square Golden Books. This book is BIG and thick and it weighs a lot. Definitely a library book. Your momma might have discouraged you from bringing it home because seriously, it is one heavy book.

As for memories, I rely on my sisters to tell me about my childhood because I've practically forgotten everything. But the important books? For some reason, those memories are still there and vivid.

Shara- I love fairy tales too. And Sci-Fi. And Dickens too....who could sort of be a fantasy writer of sorts since one of his characters died from spontaneous combustion. Ha ha ha.

Kimber-welcome to my blog and thank you for your nice comment. Sorry for the tear in the eye. I guess it's catchy from all those tears in the illustrations. :-)