Illustration for the tale of Ivan Tsarevich the Firebird and the Gray Wolf by Ivan Bilibin

Illustration for the tale of Ivan Tsarevich the Firebird and the Gray Wolf by Ivan Bilibin

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Ivan Bilibin is an artist who introduced irreplaceable development into Russian folk tales with his illustrations. For four years he creatively designed seven fairy tales, but this did not stop there.

The artist grew up in the Petersburg environment and was far from Russian national folklore and the past. But after visiting an exhibition of artists in 1899, his worldview changed.

The painting "Heroes" Vasnetsov was struck by Bilibin. He decided to improve Russian antiquity and folklore. To do this, he moves to a village in the Tver province. There he broadens the horizons of knowledge, wandering through the dense Russian forests, visiting huts and listening to fairy tales. All this shaped his vision of how to make books not only interesting with their stories, but also illustrations for them. Imagination painted picturesque paintings. He gets to work. In the same year, collections with fairy tales of Afanasyev are completely illustrated by Bilibin.

In the tale of Ivan Tsarevich, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf, we can see how the artist painted all the characters, the Russian rich nature and its inhabitants. Bilibin is the first artist to make the collection fully illustrated. This can be seen from the beautiful patterns on the pages, even the text was written so as to create the impression of an old manuscript.

The artist knew the stories of different nations, as well as what their fonts looked like. Bilibin fully illustrated collections of fairy tales from the cover to the last pages with his ornaments and intricate drawings that were not repeated anywhere else. The name of the tale is made by Slavic script. On each page you can see patterns, as if on old Russian houses carved platbands.

Each fairy tale has an equally executed cover, but with the main character from this fairy tale. The book about Ivan Tsarevich depicts Russian heroes standing in the middle of their native expanses, the Firebird, the hut on chicken legs and other characters of the fairy tale.

Of course, Bilibin made an invaluable contribution not only to painting, but also to the development of Russian fairy tales and folklore.

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