Friday, July 30, 2010

Otakar Stafl illustrates Little Tom

This is one of those times when you pick up a book and know, almost instantly, that despite it's slightly tired condition, there is something special about it. In this case, it is the illustrations. This is Little Tom by Prof. V. Tille and illustrated by Otakar Stafl (1884-1945). Not much is known about in him in the English speaking world, as has been observed by another blogger some years ago when they came across another of his books in the original Czech. Said blogger found some bookplates and a couple of mentions but that was about all. If you can read Czech then you are in a much better position since you can go to Czech Wiki or even to ArtBohemia where, as well as some more of his images, they also have a couple of b/w photos of the man himself. Several auction aggregating sites have listings for his works, some with images, but it seems that he painted far more for the art market than for illustration.

But despite the paucity of information in English, it's clear that this was a man of remarkable talent and vivid imagination: clearly this is someone who deserves to be better known outside their native country.


Will said...

I picked this up last year on a whim -- definitely love it and might feature it eventually on A Journey Round My Skull.

I'm having fun scrolling through your archives!

Andrew said...

You can now find a transcription of the whole book at Project Gutenberg:

Who links to my website?