Miffy – the illustrated rabbit – on exhibit in Amsterdam

Dick Bruna exhibit

A beloved Dutch illustrator and artist best known for his children’s book characters is being honoured by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. A new exhibition opens this month to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Miffy.

From Utrecht, Dick Bruna has authored and illustrated more than 200 children’s books. Miffy is a small rabbit drawn with thick, dark lines, simple shapes and in primary colours. He has also drawn bears, pigs, hedgehogs and a variety of other characters. He has illustrated and designed book covers, posters and promotional materials for his father's publishing company A.W. Bruna and Zoon.

Some of his most popular designs graced the covers of the Zwarte Beertjes series of books.

At the Rijksmuseum, the exhibition focuses on Bruna’s art in a historical context. There will be prints and drawings by the artists who inspired the artist. Bruna has said he was influenced by the art of Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, Willem Sandberg, H.N. Werkman and Bart van der Leck. Examples of their art will be on display alongside Bruna’s own book covers, posters, collages and drawings.

In an effort to show influence and connection, the Rijksmuseum researched where the works of the various artists intersect with Bruna’s work. They have selected works from the museum’s own extensive collection of prints to highlight Bruna’s affinities with other artists. By displaying Bruna’s creations alongside the work of artists who inspired him, visitors can quickly see the influences and inspiration.

With a total of 120 items on display, the exhibition shows the design process in creating Miffy. Visitors can marvel at Bruna’s skill at using colour to illustrate space in the creation of the world-famous rabbit.

The exhibition starts on 17 August and lasts through into November.

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is well-known for its cultural and artistic heritage. With a number of museums and art houses, the city offers plenty of opportunities for travellers to Europe to enjoy the arts

Image Credit: Jim McDougall (www.flickr.com)