Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cap O' Rushes by Severino Baraldi

It's been a while since I did an art post so I dug into my drafts folder and found these gems to share. They are one of the set of fairy tale illustrations by the prolific and amazing Italian painter, Severino Baraldi.

You can be forgiven if you're from the US or UK and not aware of his work. He seems far better known in Europe, though that's a shame because his work is stunning. This is where my love of the internet knows no bounds - to have access to so many the fantastic things, especially writers and artists, that, till now, have been sequestered in their own countries and regions for whatever reason. Now we can all appreciate and enjoy the beauty!

The original source alerting me to this set said these illustrations are from a German tale titled, Prinzessin Binsenkappe, loosely translated as Princess Rush-Hood (or Cap O' Rushes).

Born in 1930, his illustrations cover a range of historical subjects, vehicles and Biblical subjects as well as fairy tales.

Aren't they beautiful? There are many more of Baraldi's "enchanted illustrations" on the web and by searching Pinterest HERE and Flickr HERE too.

He would seem to be quite an admirer of Gustav Tenggren (whose fairy tale work you likely know well, including Tenggren's influence on Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), but especially with regard to his 1001 Arabian Nights illustrations (see comparisons below), to the extent he reposed almost identical scenes. This style sensibility he seemed to carry through to his other fairy tale work though, like Cap O' Rushes shown above, and he ended up producing some truly beautiful pieces. I'm surprised we don't see his work more often, especially since it lends itself so well to popular animation styles today.

Baraldi was actually offered work in animation earlier in his career but he turned it down in favor of creating a huge set of Biblical illustrations. It should be noted, though, that he got his start in art by doing chalk drawings on pavement to entertain customers of a local barber's shop, as well as doing cartoons for a newspaper before moving on to more "serious art" and study, so seeing him return to a stylized form of these art expressions shouldn't be too surprising. I'm glad he did. These are some of the most beautiful and delightful works he produced. Although the others are amazing and the detail and technique are quite awe inspiring, it's these fairy tale illustrations that capture the imagination.

Baraldi has had quite a busy life, one which seems to have him constantly employed in illustration of one kind or another throughout, which is a great achievement in itself. He's now retired and enjoying his family, although I have no doubt his paint brushes aren't gathering dust now either. :)

You can read up on a detailed explanation of his biography and illustrations HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment