Dick Bruna was one of the Netherlands’ most famous ‘unknown’ artists. While every one in the Netherlands knew him, outside of the country most people would know his creations but would not heard of his name.
Bruna is best known for his children’s books which he authored and illustrated, now numbering over 200. His most notable creation is Miffy (Nijntje in the original Dutch), a small rabbit drawn with heavy graphic lines, simple shapes and primary colors.
Bruna has also created stories for characters such as Lottie, Farmer John, and Hettie Hedgehog.
At a young age Bruna started drawing, but was also influenced by artists of other art forms. He drew covers for his school newspaper in Walt Disney style. Later he admired Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
The biggest influence was perhaps Matisse. Dick Bruna’s first works were based on collages by the French painter. Bruna has also been noted to have been influenced by the Dutch graphic design movement, De Stijl, in particular the work of architect Gerrit Rietveld.
Unfortunately he died on 16 Feb 2017 at the age of 89. Below is some of his art. Rest in Peace Mr Bruna, thank you for your stories and art.