Wednesday, November 10, 2010
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'].
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 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.
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.
available to buy at the Illustration Art Gallery.