A Moment with the Art of Lisbeth Zwerger

h1 November 25th, 2014 by jules


I’ve got some art here at 7-Imp today from Austrian illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger.

First up are Zwerger’s illustrations—originally created in 2009, I believe—from The Pied Piper of Hamelin, an edition of the story retold by Renate Raecke and translated by Anthea Bell. This was just released in September by Michael Neugebauer Publishing, a.k.a. Minedition. The Kirkus review writes: “This strange and unsettling tale is made all the stranger and more unsettling by Zwerger’s spare, isolated figures in their pale interiors and landscapes.” Today feels like a good day to share such a story, as it seems the entirety of the U.S. feels unsettled — given the news, that is, leaving us heavy-hearted.

Also from Minedition is Zwerger’s vision of The Night Before Christmas. This was released last month, a book with a small, cozy trim size and Zwerger’s take on Clement Clark Moore’s famous poem, first published in the 1800s. Zwerger’s illustrations were originally created in 2005. Pictured above are Dasher, Dancer, and part of the rest of St. Nick’s crew. Pictured right is the man himself, trying to cheer us up.

I’m glad, in both cases, that Minedition has released these new editions. I’m always pleased to see Zwerger’s artwork. She’s one of those illustrators who made me want to study children’s literature. In fact, if you’re a fan too, you may be happy to know this has been released. The copy I ordered finally arrived. In the Foreword, Peter Sís writes: “Her art flows and shines.” Yes, what he said.



From The Pied Piper of Hamelin:


“At first only a few rats came, enticed by all the delicious things to eat in the houses
of Hamelin, but soon there were more and more of them.”

“One day in the year 1284—so the old legend says—a strange man appeared in Hamelin. He was a striking figure, wearing a parti-colored or ‘pied’ robe
such as the townspeople had never seen before.”

“All over town he went, up streets and down alleys, and wherever his music was heard the rats came scurrying out of kitchen and cellars, storerooms and stables,
to follow the Pied Piper.”

“The sorrowful parents hurried out of town to search for their lost children.
All the mothers and fathers were weeping and wailing. …”


From The Night Before Christmas:


“The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow /
Gave a luster of mid-day to objects below …”

“He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot …”

“He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work …”



* * * * * * *

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. North American edition published 2014 by Michael Neugebauer Publishing Ltd., Hong Kong. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.

THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN. North American edition published 2014 by Michael Neugebauer Publishing Ltd., Hong Kong. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.

15 comments to “A Moment with the Art of Lisbeth Zwerger”

  1. Thank you so much, Jules! So happy to see my pictures on your blog!
    Greetings from Vienna
    all the best

  2. Thanks, Lisbeth. Waving in the general direction of Vienna from near Nashville!

  3. This is wonderful, Jules. I’m utterly obsessed with Lisbeth Zwerger’s amazing work right now. (Waves tremulously in direction of Vienna from here in Canada).
    The embarrassing thing is that only quite recently did I realize she didn’t belong to the realm of myth and giants but is actually alive and producing amazing work.

  4. These are sublime …

    And oh my goodness!!! Lisbeth Zwerger commented on your blog!! You can never close this window (or whatever the equivalent of “never washing again” would be in the e-world).

  5. Thanks, Jules and Lisbeth.

    I love her work and have a rather astounding collection of her books. I am grateful to Minedition for making these titles easy to find.

    It was nice to just rest in these images today.

  6. Gorgeous and dreamy, as always.
    And something about the style is changing, ever so slightly…
    This is going to the top of my Christmas Wish and Giving Lists!
    Many thanks to Lisbeth, for producing this (and so much else), and to Jules for her article (and then some)!

  7. “THESE ARE…” (Funnily enough, I meant the Pied Piper—but both will do nicely! heh! heh!)

  8. Gorgeous! I do believe we need a new edition of The Night Before Christmas 🙂

  9. We’re reading “Andersen Fairy Tales” illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger today. I came here to see if there was anything about her in your archives, and look … just a few days ago!
    She is one of my favourite illustrators of all time. I used to hand-sell books illustrated by her, with my favourite being the small versions of the fairy tales.

  10. Glad I could help, Carrie! Such a pleasure to feature her work here.

  11. What a nice surprise to find one of my very favorite artists featured here on one of my very favorite children’s book blogs…two amazing ladies, no doubt in my mind. Happy holidays to you, Jules and Lisbeth!

  12. Beautiful work! Love it!

  13. […] and Rosemary Wells. I especially admired the eastern Europeans — Helme Heine, Wolf Erlbruch, Lisbeth Zwerger, Henrik Drescher, Klaus Ensikat, and Květa […]

  14. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see Lisbeth’s images. I hadn’t seen her work in years. She is such beauty and inspiration. Do any new calendars with her art exist?

  15. Good question, Cathy. I’m not sure!

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