What blossomed in books and children’s hearts

As February starts, it is my pleasure to share with you a new post. It is about an artist whose work has been admired by Czech children for many years.

Jiří Trnka.

French artist Jean Cocteau said about him: “Trnka – the name is the sum of childhood and poetry.”

Jiří Trnka was born on 24th February 1912 in a Czech town Plzeň. He grew up in a family that spent their free time crafting homemade toys. His high school art teacher was famous Josef Skupa. Josef Skupa became his mentor and inspired Jiří Trnka to perform a puppet theatre from the age of 11 and to study at the School of Applied Arts (Uměleckoprůmyslová škola) in Prague.

Today Jiří Trnka is known as a painter, illustrator, graphic designer, screenwriter, puppeteer, puppet-maker, animator, sculptor and teacher (+30th December 1969). After World War II, he established a Czech animated film and is called „the Walt Disney of Eastern Europe.“ He has received many awards including an international Hans Christian Medal for illustrators in 1968 as a children´s books illustrator. Some of the books with his illustrations were also published in English.

Since childhood, I liked his illustrations. His books I love the most are:

1. „Věci, květiny, zvířátka a lidé pro děti“ (Things, flowers, animals and people for children; Vítězslav Nezval) What is the difference between a tulip and a primrose? When I was little I learned to paint flowers based on this book.

2. „Broučci“ (Fireflies; Jan Karafiát). These illustrations helped me to be a part of the story set in a beautiful countryside.

3. Book „Zahrada“ (Garden; Jiří Trnka) was illustrated and also written by Jiří Trnka. This book helped me to feel how illustrations underline the mood in stories.

4. „O Květušce a její zahrádce“ (Květuška and her garden; František Hrubín) These beautiful coloured pen drawings are my favourite. They are full of children, animals and especially full of beautiful flowers. I like them a lot.

Have a look at the illustrations, enjoy them, and do not be afraid to grab colours and create your own pictures of flowers.

Picture: Studio Trnka – Květuška – spring


Sorce and more information:

Wikipedia – Trnka

Osobnosti.cz – Jiří Trnka

Česko-Slovenská filmová databáze – Bibliografie Trnka

Books ABZ – Jiří Trnka

Forgotten Illustrator Jiri Trnka

Animation – Jiri Trnka


Foto Bronya Gill, 11th February 2018 in Opava.


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