Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I can't resist posting another August birthday, this one for Roger Duvoisin. An illustrator and author, he was born in Switzerland on August 28, 1900. He emigrated to America in 1927 and became an American citizen in 1938. He was already working as a professional artist before he came to the USA, but it was after he arrived here that he started his work in children's books.

His art is so fresh, free, and comfortable. It looks as though it flowed effortlessly from his hand.
When he works with limited color, his art is just as relaxed and confident.
And his black and white work is the same---flowing and loose in feel, but never sloppy or careless

One of Duvoisin's trademarks is his wonderful sense of humor---sophisicated, but loving. It shows up in much of what he produced.
But, like so many illustrators, Duvoisin worked in many fields, not just children's books. As a young artist in Switzerland, he created scenery, textiles, and murals. In the US, he did a great deal of magazine work. Some of that art, such as this piece, is so different in style that we would not recognize it as coming from the same artist.
And some of the work that he did during WWII, for example, projects a dark and forbidding atmosphere, very different from his children's books.
Other magazine work has a feel very similar to the art of his picture books.
His New Yorker covers tend to be more complex in composition and execution than his children's book art. 
Yet, just as in his children's books, he is very much the story-telling artist, one with a smile.

How simple is this picture book jacket---executed with just a few colors, some simple lines, and a lovely dash of humor. But notice how much it tells us about the heroine, Veronica, and the story we are going to hear. It takes a master artist to create an image that is so uncomplicated and child-like, and yet so rich and complex.

There is not a great deal of information about Duvoisin on the internet. Two links will tell you a bit more about the author/artist:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing about Roger Duvoisin, Wendy! I simply ADORED the book Petunia when I was young! Aren't we lucky our parents chose such wonderful books for us when we were small!