Piero Bernardini and Don Quixote of La Mancha

"Poor Don Quixote, whirled by wood and wind, is tossed in the air..."

We have previously written about Florentine painter and illustrator Piero Bernardini (1891-1974) in presenting the many editions of “Pinocchio” he worked on – no less than eight!

This time, we focus on another literary figure: Don Quixote, created in 1605 by Spanish author Miguel De Cervantes. Piero Bernardini “met” the character in 1935, when he illustrated “Don Quixote of La Mancha” for Utet’s (Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese) famous kids’ series, “La Scala d’Oro” (edited by Edoardo Mottini).

Children literature expert Antonio Faeti has written, “Piero Bernardini was head of a remarkable group of illustrators who tried – often in vain – to imitate his fresh graphic creativity, which could count on a most confident hand, allowing him generous versatility.”

“He could shift with great ease from one field to the next, always considering the prose he had to illustrate, thanks to his unique ability to synthesize using pure lines, volumes and clear spots” (translated from A. Faeti, “Guardare le figure. Gli illustratori italiani dei libri per l’infanzia”, Donzelli, Rome 2011).

November 14, 2016