The Illustrations of Mikhail Maiofis
A while ago, several bloggers happened upon a man who had made several illustrations for various Russian children’s books in the 80’s, that man’s name was Mikhail Solomonovich Maiofis. Maiofis, who has drawn for a wide breadth of publications, recently garnered attention for the unique style of art he used when illustrating children’s books, probably best described as whimsical.
However, to actually find any of Maiofis’ artwork is indeed a challenge, even more so due to the fact much of his work is rarely found on the internet. Fortunately, a number of sites have made some of his works available. One of the few works shown were a number of drawings that accompanied a 1987 children’s book version of Aleksandr Pushkin’s Tale of the Golden Cockerel. As you may see below, Maiofis’ style of art was simplistic as many were for this particular type of book, yet he presented it in a way all his own. Perhaps for this reason he is remembered so fondly by those who grew up with his work.
Another book is Sapsan by A. I. Kuprin which is a story from the point of view from a dog. Among the books illustrated by Maiofis, this probably one of his more realistically drawn works.
Maiofis was also involved in a 1976 version of K. Chukovskiy’s Doctor Aybolit which featured full-page illustrations by him.
The last full book to be shown is another work by Pushkin, this time the so try being The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda which is a story based around a priest and his hired laborer.
Another one of Maiofis’ famous works included the famous Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen. The artist himself, who was born in 1939, is still alive to this day and currently resides in Los Angeles after emigrating with his family to the United States in 1989. One account of his life mentions his struggle to be an artist in a country with such different views on art. Although despite this he was able to continue his work as a painter.
See the rest of Maiofis’ work at these links:
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