Illustration Art Gallery

The very best from the wide, sometimes overlooked, world of illustration art, including original artwork for book illustrations and covers, comic books and comic strips, graphic novels, magazines, film animation cels, newspaper strips, poster art, album covers, plus superb fine art reproductions and high quality art prints.

Our gallery brings together artists from all over the world and from many backgrounds, including fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, education, sport, history, nature, technology, humour, glamour, architecture, film & tv, whimsy, even political satire and caricature.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Severino Baraldi

Severino Baraldi was born on 10 December 1930 in Sermide, a small village 50 kilometres from Mantova in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. As a boy, he entertained customers of the local barber by with his chalk drawings on the pavement. He worked as a carpenter, drawing cartoons for a local paper whose editor encouraged him to seek his fortune in the capital of the Lombardy region.

In September 1955, aged 25, Baraldi left Sermide (population under 6,000) for Milan (population over 6.5 million), where he worked for an advertising agency for a year whilst attending the Scuola d'Arte Castello di Milano. His work attracted the attention of the Pagot brothers, who ran a studio producing animated cartoons, but Baraldi turned down their offer in favour of another to illustrate The Bible for the periodical Il Messaggero di Sant'Antonio, published in Padova. After completing two volumes, Baraldi was offered work by a number of other publishing houses producing illustrations for educational books and books for boys and contributing to Piccoli, Le Stelle, Boschi, Argo, Raiteri and Noseda.

For La Sorgente ['The Source'] he illustrated various books ranging from the history of the car, the history of trains and the history of pirates to Il gatto con gli stivali ['Puss in Boots'] and Incanto di fiabe ['Enchanted Stories'].

1962-63 was a major era for Baraldi with the publication of Ulisse ['Ulysses'], adapted from 'The Odyssey' by Gino Fischer, Lo Schianccianoci, based on the work by E. T. A. Hoffman, and Ciuffo Biondo, an adaptation of 'Peer Gynt' by Anna Maria De Benedetti. Ulisse and Ciuffo Biono were praised by the reviewer for Radiotelevisione Italiana for their elegant illustrations, which helped to establish the name of the artist who often signed his work with the abbreviation 'Bar'.

At the same time, Baraldi was illustrating the story of Marco Polo and, for Milan publisher Casa Editirice, a variety of other books for children.

For seven years, Baraldi was a prolific illustrator for the British magazine Look and Learn. He also painted seven covers for Commando in 1981-82 and two more in 1988-89.

Baraldi also had a long association with Famiglia Cristiana, producing some 800 illustrations for the weekly magazine and educational cards for their junior magazine, Il Giornalino. He also produced historical illustrations for Fratelli Fabbri Editore's Enciclopedia Scoprire ['Encyclopedia of Discovery'].

Baraldi collaborated with Italian journalist Piero Angela on Quark, a documentary series, working on a programme about the Persian Army in the Egyptian desert based on the writings of ancient Greek historian Herodotus.

Shoganhunkan, the large Japanese publisher, commissioned Baraldi to illustrate biographies of famous people from Galileo and Marie Curie to Napoleon. When the same company created a competition for artists of different nationalities to illustrate images of the land of the rising sun, Baraldi was given the first prize of a trip to Tokyo.

He continued to work in Italy, illustrating books for De Agostini on intrepid navigators Marco Polo and Columbus and adventure books for boys. For the Greek publisher Stratikis, he illustrated 25 volumes of stories, mythology and famous people.

Eight years later, in 1994, Fratelli Fabbri offered him the job of illustrating a version of the Bible transcribed by Monsignor Ravasi, of the Papal Commission. This proved to an extremely difficult assignment requiring a great deal of research which lasted two years; Baraldi produced over 100 illustrations for the book, entitled La Bibbia : storie dell'antico e del nuovo te, which was published around the world (in Britain as The Bible for Children).

More recently, Baraldi illustrated biographies of musicians Dvorak and Verdi for a publisher in Taiwan.In all, Baraldi has contributed to over 220 books and produced 7,500 illustrations. The village of Sermide dedicated an exhibition to his work in June 1997. He continued to work for Famiglia Cristiana and Il Giornalino until retiring a few years ago. Now he is content to be be a family man, the father of three daughters and six grandchildren.

Many stunning paintings by Baraldi are available to buy at the Illustration Art Gallery.

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