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Dick Bruna (Dutch, b. 1927)

Born into a family of publishers in Utrecht Dick Bruna early on developed a passion for drawing and for books. Initially intending to follow in his father's footsteps he went to London and then Paris to learn the trade of printing. But in Paris it was the works of Matisse, Picasso, Braque and Leger that had the biggest influence upon the young Bruna and he determined to become an illustrator, combining his love of books and his love of art.

Bruna is now one of the most famous creators of children's picture books in the world; he has written and illustrated over one hundred books, which have been translated into some forty languages, won countless awards, and have sold more than eighty million copies. Bruna's greatest creation, Miffy, was born in 1955: while on holiday with his family Bruna watched his son playing with his fabric toy bunny, and, recalling too the pet rabbits he had as a boy, penned the first Miffy sketch and poem. A perfectionist by nature, Bruna took years to arrive at Miffy as we now know him, and the first Miffy book was published in 1963. There are now over twenty titles.

Bruna, like Pienkowski, draws in bold black contours which are later coloured in. What distinguishes Bruna is his paring-down of form, his two-dimensional perfection which achieves an absolute clarity. Bruna has an immediately recognisable colour-scheme, and limits his books' colour to blocks of red, blue, yellow, green and white, never with any shades. The format of his illustrations are a consistent 15.5 x 15.5 cm, the perfect size for his books to fit tiny hands.

Bruna has been famed for his collage technique, of which Miffy is a perfect example. In preparing a book Bruna will first put together the scenes with paper, scissors and glue - which is surely testament to his love of Matisse.

Dick Bruna. Miffy

Miffy catching stars
signed in pencil by the illustrator
30 x 21.5 cm.


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