domingo, 5 de agosto de 2007

Adrienne Ségur no tempo em que os animais falavam

Adrienne Ségur was a illustrator of French fairy tales from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. She was born in France, in 1901.

Adrienne Ségur, ilustradora de contos de fadas, nasceu em 1901, presumivelmente em França. É frequentemente confundida com a Condessa de Ségur, mas esta última viveu entre 1799 e 1874. Não há informação que corrobore qualquer parentesco entre elas. Publicou o seu primeiro livro com 29 anos. Os seus livros sempre foram marcados pelos seus traços delicados e etéreos, quer no desenho a lápis quer na pintura. As suas composições são ricas, os pormenores barrocos. As suas princesas têm os olhos tristes e os animais antropormofizados são o seu motivo de eleição. A sua atenção incidiu sobretudo nos gatos que apresentou faustosos e cavalheirescos.

“Many of us raised in the 1950s and '60s were introduced to fairy tales by a popular book titled The Golden Book of Fairy Tales, which had originally been published in France. The American edition, released in 1957, was beautifully translated by poet Marie Ponsot and contained the sumptuous art of Adrienne Ségur illustrating French fairy tales from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries (…).

Terri Windling, A Tribute to Adrienne Ségur

“Ségur's illustrations were filled with a richness that equaled, and sometimes even surpassed, the gorgeous imagery of the old stories: heroines with long, flowing hair and faces that held traces of childhood innocence; elaborate gowns and even simple peasant dresses that were somehow all stunningly beautiful; and gemstones that appeared on dresses and boxes and the hilts of swords (…)”
“Her animals, too, were extraordinary. Deer, cats, falcons, geese, and dogs with great saucer eyes, they were all imbued with nobility and grace. It's hard to imagine anyone looking at those illustrations and not loving animals.
Her pencil drawings were reproduced in silvery amethyst tones, as if the scenes were washed in moonlight. These illustrations were subtler, softer, and had a depth that made them even more accessible. It was easier to imagine myself in the world of the drawings; they seemed one step more real or perhaps more intimate, a gateway to the jewel-toned world of the paintings. I now think it was the Ségur book that first made me understand what it is to be enchanted. It cast a spell that has never been broken. I still turn to fairy tales, folklore, and myths to feed my soul. And I write stories to recreate a bit of the magic and beauty that Adrienne Ségur gave us all.”

Ellen Steiber, Adrienne Ségur: A Reminiscence

Ficam aqui algumas das suas ilustrações das histórias do tempo em que os animais falavam, a acompanhar um poema de Edward Field.

Magic Words

In the earliest time,
when both people and animals lived on the earth,
a person could become an animal if he wanted to
and an animal could become a human being.
Sometimes they were people
and sometimes animals
and there was no difference.
All spoke the same language.
That was the time when words were like magic.
The human mind had mysterious powers.
A word spoken by chance
might have strange consequences.
It would suddenly come alive
and what people wanted to happen could happen--
all you had to do was to say it.
Nobody can explain this:
That's the way it was.

Edward Field, 'Songs and Stories of the Netsilik Eskimos

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