I’ve recently discovered Viennese children’s literature illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger. She is renowned for her soft, magical style reminiscent of 19th century English illustrators. Lisbeth was born in Vienna in 1954 where she attended the College of Applied Art. She has interpreted an array of classical texts, folk and fairy tales and won many awards including the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Medal for illustration in 1990.
The constants in her individualistic style are a minimalist setting, limited colour palette, characters viewed from a middle distance and a pointed use of negative space. I personally adore the dreamy mood she creates in her subtle use of watercolour and tone. Her compositions and lines are so beautiful, that they are works of art in their own right.
Here are some pages from Hans Christian Anderson’s Thumbeline, published in 1988.
I found this lovely quote from Lisbeth’s interview taken from German weekly magazine Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. When asked what her dream of happiness was, Lisbeth said:
‘Wouldn’t it be nice… to have a lot of time, to be able to hug loved ones again who are no longer with us, to be able to fly, to understand the language of animals, to have picure books sell better, watercolor paper that’s stable, if the summer were longer…’
I wish I could live in Lisbeth’s imagination! x