Sunday, October 3, 2010

Maurice Sendak’s Tribute to Beatrix Potter

aurice Sendak has been called "the Picasso of children's books." But he is much more than that. There has not been another author/artist working during the past fifty years who comes close to his combined genius in both line and word. Only Beatrix Potter in this century might be thought of as comparable.
— Justin Schiller

The following is from the book
Caldescott & Co.: Notes on Books and Pictures by Maurice Sendak

" I know that Peter Rabbit, for the audience, needs no boosting from me, but I would like to point to a few details that might help make my own feelings about it clear. I will refer, of course, to both words and pictures, for in this book there is no separating them."

"Above all, this tiny book vividly communicates a sense of life, and this, I believe, is achieved through an imaginative synthesis of factual and fantastical components."

"This book, so apparently simple, smooth, straight-forward, is to my eye textured and deepened by the intimate, humorous observations that Beatrix Potter makes in her pictures."

"I tremendously admire the poetry of Miss Potter's art as she develops the fantastic, realistic, truthful story."

"Peter Rabbit, for all its gentle tininess, loudly proclaims that no story is worth the writing, no picture worth the making, if it is not a work of imagination."

The following narrative and the images used as examples are from the Victoria and Albert Museum Website data base.

Sendak’s illustrations to Robert Graves’s children’s story, The Big Green Book (1962), incorporate several images by Beatrix Potter, including sketches of the bedroom she slept in at Camfield Place, the gabled roof of Bush Hall and the potting shed at Bedwell Lodge, immortalised as Mr. McGregor’s potting shed in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It has been said that ‘No other children’s book artist has had the nerve to borrow with the abandon and playfulness of Sendak. His use of borrowed imagery is vigorous, transforming, never slavish.’

Hello to a fellow Beatrix Potter fan - Hailey.

Both of these artists' works have been a part of my visual vocabulary my whole life and the more I look the more I love their art. So as I have been researching and revisiting their work I am so pleased to see that Sendak really enjoys and and is positively influenced by Potter's work.

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