About Matisse and Mondrian

miffy with paint brushes

Miffy’s creator Dick Bruna often cites the 20th century artists Matisse and Mondrian as key inspirations behind his work. The paintings featured in his 1997 storybook miffy at the gallery look very similar to well-known works by these two famous artists.wth-brush

In the last years of his life, Matisse used 2-D paper cut-outs to create bold, simple shapes in bright colours. Dick Bruna adapted this technique by first tracing his designs on to paper, then outlining them in black poster paint. Afterwards he cuts up coloured paper to fill in the chosen spaces on the page.

miffy at museum gallery

Mondrian’s striking use of line also influenced Dick Bruna’s style of illustration. He spends a long time reducing everything on the page to its absolute essence, so no line is redundant.

miffy at museum gallery 4

Dick Bruna considers himself a ‘graphic artist’ using simple but compelling techniques to bring his characters alive. For him, each illustration in his picture books needs to stand alone as a work of art by itself.

You can buy your own copy of miffy at the gallery here.


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