Thursday, July 30, 2009

The animal books of Yevgeny Charushin

Yevgeny Ivanovich Charushin (1901–1965) was one of the greatest masters of Russian children's book
 illustration in the 1920s and 1930s. Born in Vjatka, he studied in Leningrad under Arkady Rylov,
 and was greatly influenced by Vladimir Lebedev and Ernest Seton-Thompson. He had a great love
 for animals, and an extraordinary ability in observing and expressing their inner and outer life.
 His style is marked by a particularly delicate reproduction of texture and of the animal's habits,
 as well as their natural environment. He worked on the children's journals Murzilka (from 1924), Yozh (1928-35)
 and Chizh (1930-41), and illustrated works by Maxim Gorky, Samuil Marshak and other children's writers.
 He was an excellent writer too, and produced his own decorative and refined animal books
 (e.g. Volchishko i drugiye, 'The little wolf and others', 1931; Medvezhata, 'The bear cubs', 1944; Pro Tomku,
 'About Tomka', 1957). He also reproduced his animal world in lithography and small-scale china work.

illustration from Vas'ka, Bobka i krol'cicha (Vas'ka, Bobka and the rabbit), 1934
two pages from Scur (The hawfinch), 1930
illustrations from Raznye zveri (Ferocious animals),1931 and Vol'nye pticy (The free birds), 1929
two pages from Detki v kletke (Babies in cages), written by Samuil Marshak, 1935


  1. Wow! These and the Franco Matticchio illustrations are beautiful. What a great idea for a blog--very much looking forward to what you come up with next!

  2. Thanks for the encouraging comment, I really appreciate it! Even more, since I am a fan of your blog... :.)

  3. That bear is genius! It's interesting to me how these early Russian illustrators seem to be very influenced by Japanese Sumi-e painting - The brushiness of the images, the active use of white space. As you know, I'm a huge fan of Mai Miturich's work and, in trying to get more of her books, have found that they're mainly available in Japan!

  4. Laura,

    Love your blog.

    Magma sell a lovely t-shirt and a print adorned with a bear cub by Yevgeny Charushin




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