Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Italian Illustration: Libico Maraja

I was home this weekend and sorting through some old books when I came across one of my favorites - "Alice in Wonderland" illustrated by someone named "Maraja." I finally did a little research and found that the illustrator's full name was Libico Maraja. His work is absolutely stunning. (I seem to be on an Alice kick lately.) These are my favorite Alice illustrations next to Arthur Rackham's...I like Maraja's paintings even more than Mary Blair's beautiful work on the Disney version. My "research" lead me to this site, dedicated to Maraja's work, with many pictures on display as well. Only problem is that the English version doesn't seem to be up and running - any Italians care to enlighten me on this incredible artist's life and work? I think there may have been an animation section on that site as well...would love to know what sort of work he did for films.

I found this edition for a couple bucks at a tag sale about ten years ago. Here are some of my favorite illustrations for you to enjoy:

The publishing info. for this edition is as follows:

"Made and printed in Italy by Fratelli Fabbri Editori, via Abbedessee 40, Milano. For the publishers Grosset & Dunlap, Inc., 1107 Broadway, New York 10, N.Y.


Christine Lim Simpson said...

thanks for the link. great artist.

Sandra Khoo said...

These illustrations are so wonderful and inspirational! WOO! Dang, u don't those around anymore...makes me want to pick up painting again,tho' I'm sure it'll reach those standards. *.* Lovleh stuff!

Sandra Khoo said...

oops...I left out 'see' >.<

Anonymous said...

I like the Maraja and Cremonini's work since I was a child.
If you can find this book in any edition you'll be more than happy.
1965 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Maraja et Cremonini. Collection Contes et Couleurs. Imprimé en Italie par Fratelli Fabbri Editori, Milano. (c)Copyright 1962 by O.D.E.J., Paris. 50 Francs from Helen Moncourt, on the Quai de Seine, May, '97.

A large-format children's book, now the third distinct set of work I have by Cremonini (see The Fables of Aesop and La Fontaine in 1958 and 1961, both by Fratelli Fabbri). Here Cremonini's first contribution lies in the colorful designs on the pages given to texts. There are also six full-page color illustrations in a distinct style (perhaps Maraja's?). From these latter, I like particularly the sparkling-eyed town and country mice sitting at the country meal. Have I seen some of this Maraja work before? Cremonini's work also includes the monochrome blue designs that appear along the way. Cremonini typically has fun with the figures, like the armed mice on the design next to "Le Cheval et l'Ane" or the insects around the scene of WL. There are also good faces on both main characters in OR. Thirteen fables. T of C at the back. The corners of the book have been bruised and partially repaired with scotch tape.

link to the site above text was taken from http://aesop.creighton.edu/jcupub/fables3/catalog/years/1965to1969.html
Give me a line if you do find it. My book is lost long time ago and I am too on a look for one.

Have a nice day,


E-mai emil@folio.dk
URL www.folio.dk

Anonymous said...

Last year I found at an estate sale a 1958 edition of Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' printed in Italy for Grosset & Dunlap of New York. The book was illustrated by Maraja. Beautiful work.

Anonymous said...

I have this book--this version of Alice in Wonderland from my childhood in the 1950s. I love Maraja and his illustrations had a profound effect on me as a child--as an adult they still do

Anonymous said...

I have "Alice Through the Looking Glass" and "The Wizard of Oz" from my childhood -both really lovely.

Anonymous said...

I'm Davide Maraja, grandchild of Libico Maraja.
Yes, the internet site has not in English (not yet!).
In this period there is a exhibition in Como (until 18th JAN 2009).
Please write to libicomaraja@tiscali.it for any suggestion or questions.

Ezra said...

I'm Ezra The Bookfinder of Eugene, Oregon U.S.A. and I'm seeking any knowledge about whether your Grandfather, LIbico, ever illustrated TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS".

Thank you for any help you can offer.

Molto Grazie!

Ezra Tishman
Aardvark Books and Gertie The Bookstore On Wheels
P.O. Bo 5252
Eugene, Oregon 97405

Anonymous said...

I have just found my copy of The Wizard of Oz from childhood, published in 1958, & the illustrations bring back many happy memories. I remember looking at them for hours. I think they are lovley to look at & very accessible to a child, but not at all patronising. I love this book.

Anonymous said...

Indeed - I grew up with a Bulgarian edition of Pinocchio illustrated by Maraja. I still remember the stunning illustrations. I did not how to spell the name and I am glad I have finally found references online... thanks!

Petya said...

where can i find more information about Maraja? thank you