Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Jiri Trnka - Illustrator

I recently bought an old book from a second-hand bookshop called Legends of Old Bohemia. It was published by Paul Hamlyn in the UK and by Artia in the former Czechoslovakia, where the book was printed and designed. The book appealed to me on three grounds - firstly of course the subject matter, secondly it was translated by Edith Pargeter (see my blogpost on her) a favourite author of mine and finally the illustrations were by Jiri Trnka (illustration from book above).

I had first come across Jiri Trnka , when I was working at the Puppet Centre in Battersea. There I had come to admire Jiri Trnka as a designer and maker of animated films. In my next post I will give talk more about his animated films. But he was a man of many parts and created some wonderful book illustrations. And this book is full of them.

I also have a copy of Grimm's Fairytales (again published by Paul Hamlyn) illustrated by Trnka, and again absolutely wonderful. The last three illustrations are from it - very Trnka and very Czech.


David Mussel said...

I assure you that your blog not only introduces the Czechs to the British, but also shows the best puppet animator in other activity which is so beautiful that I couldn't find words to describe!
You introduces that amazing culture and their artists to the world.
Post some Trnka's illustration was the best and greatest thing that I saw on the net.
Thank you for that!

k.chomistek said...

I read this book as a child. I borrowed it from my father's friend's father who had brought it to Canada with him from the former Czechoslovakia. I spent weeks trying to make sense of the legends,( many of the stories were a little advanced for a 9 year old), but I enjoyed and cherished them all the same. Anyhow, that book is indeed a treasure... Take care of it and share the stories with younger generations. It's important that such vibrant tales keep travelling down the generations.


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