Wednesday, May 2, 2007

bemelmans book

I went to a yard sale the other weekend and found this amazing book by Ludwig Bemelmans. (...The Madeline guy, right?) I raced to plunk down my $2 so fast, I didn't take time to peruse, but wow, now that I've caught my breath I can see it's really lovely. The book is called The Best of Times. Talk about the golden years of illustration-- shortly after WW II ended, Holiday magazine comissioned the artist to cruise around Europe, paint, write, and do some general brighter side of life looking. For me it really captures that post-war feeling when everyone needed things to be lighter, more hopeful, even if they quite weren't yet.

Anyway, the drawings are really wonderful, so I thought I'd post a few. (I'm sure it will be even better once I actually READ it.) Click on the .jpgs to see bigger.



Venice; reminds me of Maira Kalman's work a little, hmmm?....

Not everything is cheerful; Bemelmans' impression of Munich before and after the war...


Switzerland. Aaah, wouldn't a nice cocktail be really good right now...?


Yukako said...

Fabulous illustrations! In Japan, there are a handful of trip journal/city strolling-store finging type of books by popular illustartors now (before too?). I don't own my copies but they are beautiful too. A good post!

shannon m. said...

Oh, we gotta know more about these books too...! I think it's a great concept for a body of work. Everybody, start sketching your town today! ;-)