Fritz Kredel (1900-1973) was a marvelous illustrator whose work rests firmly in my consciousness. He was born in Michelstadt-im-Odenwald, Germany, and studied under Rudolf Koch, a noted German calligrapher. In this early part of his life, Kredel was noted primarily as a woodblock engraver. He worked with Koch on two books, The Book of Signs (1923) and The Book of Flowers (1930).
|click to enlarge | bibliopolis.com
|This image is actually three separate scans — the spine wasn't damaged!
This is a book of Grimm's Fairy Tales from my own childhood, and as you can see, unwashed little hands opened it many times. Kredel painted the cover art.
The recent death of author and illustrator Maurice Sendak got me to thinking how illustrators of children's books inform and influence us at our most formative stage. At an early age — if we are lucky — we are introduced to so many morality plays, and while the morals of the stories are important, so too are the indelible cast of characters, and the way in which they are presented.
The characters of Fritz Kredel were charming . . .
. . . romantic . . .
. . . witty and delightful.
As a child, I was charmed by how Kredel played with scale. I remember looking at the illustration on the left and wondering whether such a structure actually existed.
Illustrations not otherwise credited come from:
Andersen's Fairy Tales | The Heritage Press, 1942
Grimm's Fairy Tales | Grosset & Dunlap, 1945