Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hungarian Spring

Maybe to compensate this strangely grey spring season, after David Weidman 
I am still in the mood for sharing some joyful, sunshine filled imagery.

János Kass was born in Szeged, Hungary, in 1927. After finishing his artistic studies,
he became one of Hungary's foremost graphic artists and book illustrators.
He also worked as a printmaker, painter, sculptor, teacher, and postage stamp designer. 

János illustrated and designed around 400 books, mostly classic novels and children's stories.
He was remarkably versatile, and his artistic output ranged from fine etchings and intense b&w prints
 to bold and colourful silk-screens and delightfully playful children's illustrations.
His art combined the influence of traditional Hungarian folk culture with that of modern 
art movements. János' work gained international recognition, and was awarded the prize 
for best illustrated book at the 1973 Leipzig book fair and the 1999 Frankfurt fair. 
He won the Kossuth prize, Hungary's highest artistic award, and his drawings, etchings
 and silk-screen prints were widely exhibited at home and around the world. 

János was the storyboard artist for Dilemmathe earliest fully digital animated film
Thi1981 British short directed by Hungarian born animator John Halas won international awards
 and was nominated for the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival
János also worked as background artist for the "So Beautiful and So Dangerous" 
segment of the 1981 animated feature Heavy Metal

Magyar Andersen stamp series, 1979

János Kass died in 2010 at the age of 82. HIs artworks can be viewed at the Hungarian National Gallery 
and in a permanent exhibition located in his birthplace Szeged.

To my knowledge, none of János' beautiful children's books have been published in Italy. 
 I found the images for this post in a variety of websites, from Japanese vintage bookshops
and Hungarian art galleries to the lovely blogs Two Hand Design and Kristina Klarin.
I will try to post some original scans of his work in the near future; in the meanwhile 
you can check out the work of another outstanding Hungarian illustrator, Károly Reich.


  1. what a nice surprise!!! :) Kass and Reich were some of the greatest and most favourite illustrators of my childhood... (others included Würtz Ádám and Banga Ferenc, but their style was totally different, somewhat more chaotic, i guess and less popular) I did visit the Kass gallery in Szeged as a child and i fell in love with his work... i most liked his Kékszakállú (Bluebeard's Castle) series and another series he made about Hamlet... oh, and his Szt. Ferenc (San Francesco, that is). I've been planning to post some of his works, too... well, sooner or later i'll have to... :)

    i think the etchingfitness blog also has a great selection of his works, but mostly not the animal or chindren's-books realted ones.

    Thanks for posting this, Laura!!!


  2. Wow. Really lovely. It has such an amazing folk art quality with all the patterns and details. Thanks for finding and posting them.

  3. Je me sens en totale affinité avec ces illustrations. Il y a en moi une petite fille qui saute de joie :-)

  4. Yippi, what a lovely blog you are having!

    Sunshine from tina in denmark

  5. :D big smiles, what lovely happy pictures.

  6. thanks for the comments, I am glad you like this too!

    Agnes, I love many Eastern European illustrators
    and I wish we westerners had more exposure to them...
    thanks for your info and for sharing your childhood memory



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