20 July 2010

Beauty and the Beast: The Art of Adrienne Ségur

Recently the enchanting blog, Babylon Baroque posted the author's favorite set of books from his childhood. He recalled how My Book House provided solace and that the illustrations by American Donn P. Crane still delight him. Like the mysterious Crane, little is known about French illustrator Adrienne Ségur (1901-1981). The daughter of French writer Nicolas Ségur and Greek mother Kakia Anastase Diomede Kyriakos, she married Egyptian poet and thinker, Munir Hafez (1911-1998). Despite this cosmopolitan background, the beautiful artist chose to surround herself with unpretentious animals as companions. These beasts inspired many of her illustrations of the 1950's and 60's. Ségur is especially remembered for her renderings of fairy tales including The Snow Queen and Other Stories, The Fairy Tale Book, Hans Christian Anderson the Red Shoes and My Big Book of Cat Stories. Like Crane her works continue to delight the eyes of the one time children who first viewed them.

13 comments:

  1. I love your blog, Kendra and so many of your 'Fine Plumed Friends'.

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  2. Thank you Alaine, I will be adding your colorful plumes to the list. Best, Kendra

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  3. Thank you Alaine, I will be adding your blog to the plumage. Best, Kendra

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  4. These images are provoking me to spend this next month with a childhood fairytale book. Someone on Ira Glass' show was talking about his three most favorite books, one is about a fairy tale.

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  5. I was unfamiliar with this artist.Enchanting, I can understand how it would secure a place in your soul.
    I'm happy to say that a relative of Donn P. Crane contacted me, not related to Walter but a truly gifted artist. I love this online community of ours. Have a great weekend. Leonard

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  6. Thank you Leonard, the same to you! Best, Kendra

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  7. I have to admit I have always had a fondness for Beatrix Potter's work. The film, Miss Potter, made a few years back was rather nice as well.

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  8. Author~ There is something so comforting about escaping into children's books especially when they are beautifully illustrated. Best, Kendra

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  9. I just love Segur's illustrations...reminds me of when I first looked at them as child...I was enchanted by them.
    :)

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  10. Philip~ I cherish the one that your gave me of the cats spinning wool. Best, Kendra

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  11. I am 48 now, and still remember the xmas my parents gave me a set of books illustrated by Segur. I read and reread them. Thank you for indentifying her as the artist! It brings back many memories.

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  12. Thank you Laura, I was given a book of fairy tales illustrated by Ségur when I was a child. Even as an adult I would reread them to the point that the book spine came apart! I now have two of my favorites framed, "Green Snake" and "Puss and Boots". Best, Kendra

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  13. I was so thrilled to find this piece you had posted! Long ago in Portobello Road I purchased a tiny print of the illustration of the beautiful girl with the cat in embrace, and I knew nothing of it's creator. Thank you so much for sharing. I am going to find out more about this work and the books you mention.

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