Ludwig Bemelmans - the exhibition catalogue from House of Illustration available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Ludwig Bemelmans

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'An exquisite resource. Images ... combine engagingly with critical overview and stylistic analysis' - Times Higher Education

A book on one of the most importat illustrators of all time, Ludwig Bemelmans 

While almost everybody knows Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline, the fact that the illustrator published over forty other titles remains a well-kept secret. The first title in Thames & Hudson's brand-new series, this book offers a visually rich insight into the life and work of this important artist and writer. Ludwig Bemelmans grew up under the Austro-Hungarian empire and emigrated to the United States in his late teens, just escaping the outbreak of the First World War.

His illustrations for the Madeline books offer a classic vision of Paris that has created a lasting impression on millions of readers. And every illustrator would love to know how he conveyed all the emotions of a spirited little girl drawn with just a few lines and dots; how did he achieve such clarity in simplicity? Laurie Britton Newell's illustrated essay gathers material from Bemelmans' diverse oeuvre, from novels, autobiographical stories, humorous articles and comic strips to murals and menus for hotels and restaurants. The book makes accessible this mesmerizing material, which is otherwise lost to the public, and connects it to the artist's intriguing life.

An icon of a fascinating era, Bemelmans through his magical work gives us glimpses of a life that embodied both hard work and glamour, in Paris and New York.

One of the New York Times art books of the year 2019.

  • Author: Quentin Blake and Laurie Britton Newell
  • Hardcover: 112 pages | 80 illustrations
  • Date published: May 2019
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0500519950
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 18.7 cm

'An exquisite resource. Images ... combine engagingly with critical overview and stylistic analysis' - Times Higher Education

'At 111 pages, this delightful, extensively illustrated book is among the slimmer, more satisfying accounts of an artist’s life, development, career and achievement. The creator of the world-famous Madeline, her 11-girl cohort, sundry nuns and their lives in and around a Parisian convent school, Bemelmans (1898-1962) grew up and for a while, worked in his father’s hotel in Austria. In 1915, he pursued hospitality skills in New York hotels (the Ritz-Carlton, for one) before turning full-time to book illustration, commercial design and mural painting (like the one in the bar named for him at the Carlyle Hotel). At the end of his life, he turned to oil paint and comported himself quite well, in a style related to that of Raoul Dufy, another of 20th-century art’s great, underestimated lightweights' - New York Times

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