Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Antonio Rubino

Antionio Rubino, cover illustration 1909.
A little while back while doing some research on illustrators I came across the work of Antonio Rubino. I had never heard of him before but over the Halloween holiday I had a little time to do a bit of research on him and was amazed at his body of work.
Antonio Rubino was an Italian illustrator who was born in 1880. Having graduated in law he was bound for a life in the legal system but three poems that he wrote and illustrated changed the path of his career and saw him bound for Milan. There he worked illustrating music manuscripts and articles for journals but had bigger ideas about creating his own publication and in 1908 he co-founded Corriere dei Piccoli which if my Italian serves me it is still going strong.

One of Rubino's strips from Corriere dei Piccoli, 1911
Not only did he create beautiful character strips for Corriere dei Piccoli and countless elegant illustrations for ads but after the war he created Italy's first animation studio. In 1942 he released Nel paese dei ranocchi, followed by Crescendo rossiniano (1943) and finally L'arco dei sette colori (1955)
A child's block puzzle based on the animation  Nel paese dei ranocchi 1942

A piece of Nel paese dei ranocchi memorabilia

A still from Nel paese dei ranocchi

Rubino was obviously influenced by the Jugendstil and his illustrations have a beautiful sense of time and place that still look fresh today. What I love most is his innate understanding of space and balance, incorporating typography with image and producing magical worlds where peoples imaginations can dwell. The only publication of his that I have come across is this illustrated book by Santo Alligo which is on my Christmas list now!
Antionio Rubino, cover illustration

Antionio Rubino, cover illustration

Antionio Rubino, cover illustration

Antionio Rubino, cover illustration

Antionio Rubino, cover illustration

Antionio Rubino, cover illustration
 I also came across this child's bedroom decorated with Rubino's illustrations. The room is part of a collection in the Wolfsonian Museum, Genoa. It makes me want to get my paintbrushes out and create something magical for my two kids, I don't think I would be able to create something as magical as this though.

Rubino Bedroom. Image © Wolfsonian Museum, Genoa

A fantastic chair by Rubino. Image © Wolfsonian Museum, Genoa

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