Dick Bruna is Utrecht

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February 16 means it is just two years since the death of the genius that was Dick Bruna and we have to celebrate his life and work.


Wikipedia tells us that Bruna started drawing at a young age, influenced by artists of other art forms. He drew covers for his school newspaper in Walt Disney style. He also admired Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

His 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.

The official Miffy website explains simply that Dick Bruna is so popular because he produced small books full of simple illustrations in bright colours, but the most important thing is that the pictures themselves tell the story. His drawings are much like pictograms.

“When he draws a house, children all over the world can recognise it as a house, when he draws an apple, they recognise it as an apple, and when he draws a dog, they recognise it as a dog. “

They continue:

“Dick Bruna’s drawings speak their own language – the universal language of pictures. By making small changes to these pictograms, he created an entirely new picture. By drawing Miffy with a single tear, for instance, everyone can see that Miffy is really sad. Similarly, slight adjustments of the mouth and eyes of his characters convince us that they are happy or sad or curious. So the real secret of Dick Bruna’s work is that he does more with less. That is the everlasting beauty of his creations.”He is so sadly missed, but through his beautiful works, he will live forever.


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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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