Lines and Colors art blog

Ivan Bilibin (update)

Ivan Bilibin
From time to time, I like to check back on artists I’ve written about a few years ago and see what new resources for their work have appeared on the constantly expanding internet since I last wrote about them.

I took a look this morning at sources for Ivan Bilibin, a terrific Russian illustrator that I discovered by accident while walking through the Metropolitan Museum of art in 2006.

Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin was active during a period generally known as the Golden Age of Illustration, roughly contemporary with great English and European illustrators like Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Kay Neilsen, Gustav Tenggren, John Bauer and Walter Crane.

With the possible exception of Crane and Russian Illustrator Gennady Spirin, Bilibin’s influences seem to have come more from Russian folk art than from other illustrators; along with elements from Art Nouveau and Renaissance art.

I was delighted to find that there are indeed new resources for Bilibin’s art since I last wrote about him, including multi-image galleries on Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia and Cascadia Graphics.

They include not only more images of his colorful illustrations, but, as in the image above, middle, examples of some of his designs for stage sets (also here and here).

There is at least one collection of stories with Bilibin’s illustrations in print and readily available, Russian Fairy Tales (Everyman’s Library Children’s Classics). You may be able to find others used.


5 responses to “Ivan Bilibin (update)”

  1. That top image takes me back! I remember that illustration from Time-Life’s The Enchanted World, I think from the inaugural book, Wizards & Witches. Bilbin creates wonderful stuff, a bit like Mucha and Michael Hague, but with a distinct sense of lighting.

    Thanks for those links.

  2. William J Lexie Avatar
    William J Lexie

    Thanks , I just found your site a few days ago via a link [ doing some research these days ] I randomly hit a archives date and this artist came up . Certainly the ‘ golden age ‘ was golden , I think those artist [ as illustrators ] were much more in touch with the ‘ aesthetics ‘ of art[ in sense of placement , composition , movement etc.] . Also I wonder if the quality of their art supplies were greater than today’s . Will be looking around .

  3. Very interesting. Thank you.

  4. Katina M Maxwell Avatar
    Katina M Maxwell

    What are the fairy tales are these pictures from? I would love to read them

  5. You can find some modern re-printings on Amazon.