Friday, February 24, 2012

Maria Popova on the History of Picturebooks, excerpt

24 FEBRUARY, 2012

A Brief History of Children’s Picture Books and the Art of Visual Storytelling


From cave paintings to Maurice Sendak, or what modern ebooks can learn from mid-century design icons.

Back in the fifteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci made an eloquent case for visual storytelling:

And you who wish to represent by words the form of man and all the aspects of his membrification, relinquish that idea. For the more minutely you describe the more you will confine the mind of the reader, and the more you will keep him from the knowledge of the thing described. And so it is necessary to draw and to describe.”----

In Children’s Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling, illustrator Martin Salisbury and children’s literature scholar Morag Styles trace the fascinating evolution of the picturebook as a storytelling medium and a cultural agent, and peer into the future to see where the medium might be going next, with case studies of seminal works, a survey of artistic techniques, and peeks inside the sketchbooks and creative process of prominent illustrators adding dimension to this thoughtful and visually engrossing journey.

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