SPIRIN, GENNADY. b.1948.
Ivan Tsarevitch in court, watercolor with touches of white, 240 x 160 mm, ogee-arch shape to top, signed "Gennady Spirin" lower left and twice below image. Matted.
Published: The Tale of the Firebird (New York: Philomel, 2002).
Born near Moscow, Spirin earned his reputation as one of Europe's most exciting children's book illustrators before emigrating to the United States where he continues to work today. In 1983, he won the Golden Apple at the "Biennale of Illustrations" in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Five of his books have been awarded the Gold Medal from The Society of Illustrators, and four of them have been named New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year. The New York Times Book Review noted how his pictures "recalled the Northern Renaissance in clarity of light, abundance of detail and enamel-like precision of color." While the London Times compared his exquisite, often ornate work to Raphael, Jan Van Eyck and Durer. He belongs to the long tradition of I. Ya. Bilibin, Georgii Narbut, Alexandre Benois and other members of the Mir Iskusstva group. His pictures suggest illuminated medieval manuscripts and Russian painted enamel boxes. "The style of the work comes out of the specific book," he explains. "A book has a certain volume and architecture that one must work within. An illustration must relate seamlessly to the text to create one architectural ensemble." His art has been exhibited around the world and is in private, public and corporate collections. Besides being a modern master of the art of the picture book, Spirin is a distinguished landscape, portrait and mural painter.