We’ve only just discovered the beautiful watercolours of Yan Nascimbene. The late French/Italian artist and writer produced over 60 illustrated books and over 300 book covers. His details are exquisite and his smooth, rich washes are gorgeous. But it is the space in Nascimbene’s work that really makes the viewer draw breath.
Huge skies, clear seas and snowy mountains make up Nascimbene’s terrain. There may be a tiny figure housed somewhere in the expanse; a baron swinging through the lush leaves, a horseman riding under enormous trees or a bright figure traipsing across a desert. He appears able to convey every conceivable kind of natural light. The influence of Japanese woodcuts is clear, but so too is classic children’s book illustrations. Fittingly for an illustrator of so many stories, each drawing of Nascimbene’s seems to hold its own narrative within.
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