Miroslav Sasek Venice

Miroslav Šašek

Praha, 1916 - 1980, Wettingen

Miroslav Šašek was a painter, illustrator, and the author of the famous "This is…" series of books featuring cities like Paris, Rome, New York, and others. His books have charmed both adults and children for over fifty years. Originally an architect by profession, Šašek left Czechoslovakia in 1947 to study in Paris and never returned home. He later worked as an editor for Radio Free Europe in Munich. At the end of the 1950s, he presented his first illustrated guide for children, This is Paris, to London's Allen publishing house. He aimed to depict Paris "quite differently... as it truly is. As I saw it when I first arrived, and how I see it now…". According to his editor, not a single line needed to be changed in the book, which went straight to press. "This is Paris," complete with his illustrations and text, was published in London in 1959 and soon after by McMillan in New York. Following Paris, more cities and countries were covered. Šašek's books were translated into multiple languages and published in tens of thousands of copies across France, Italy, Germany, Spain, South America, Japan, Scandinavia, and beyond, earning him numerous awards. Since 2003, his books have been republished and experienced a global revival.

Šašek's books are not just excellent guides; they showcase cities as they are: enchanting and ordinary, filled with famous landmarks and the small moments of everyday life. He didn't forget about children, games and attractions, pets, typical professions, and local customs. He created his books in the middle of the places he wrote about: "You have to get to know these people, they have to get to know you… Then you start to see it through their eyes, and it's no longer just about buildings and landmarks, but life, ordinary life, and that's what makes these cities." Through his generous series about cities and countries, Miroslav Šašek has guided several generations of children and parents around the world. Now, after many years, his work returns to the Czech Republic.

Ilustrace knih