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Mirko Hanák A world of nature in watercolour

December 12, 2014

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You would be forgiven for thinking that this is the work of an acclaimed Chinese brush artist.

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Mirko Hanák was in fact born in 1921 in Martin, Slovakia and worked as a painter, graphic designer and illustrator.

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He first studied Fine Art first in Zlin, after the 2nd World War the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. His specialties were animals, birds and landscapes that were full of vitality and fun. He enjoyed creating a lot of woodland animals.

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He Illustrated a series of works of fiction with themes of the natural environment, was the author or co-author of calendars, posters, and other special-purpose prints, and achieved some notoriety for his work on the book Bambi (amongst a myriad of other books).

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Mirko’s work has a beautiful sense of line, colour and texture. A watery quality that make the animals or birds look completely genuine and lifelike in their fur or feathery-ness.

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His characterisation of these birds is amazing, I can almost hear that fat Cuckoo squawking for more food !

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He also had a firm grasp on composition as his paintings are so well balanced despite his casual fluid line.

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He was working on “Charlotte’s Web” the movie when he tragically died at the height of his career from leukemia in 1971 at the age of just 50.

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How wonderful to find so much of his beautiful work available to be admired online.
16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2014 9:52 am

    Beautiful paintings, so colourful!

    • December 12, 2014 12:04 pm

      Thanks Lizzie, I love the softness of them too

      • December 12, 2014 2:17 pm

        Yeah, I was trying to think of a way to say colourful without being overpowering – softness is the word!

  2. December 12, 2014 10:22 am

    Had one as a child. Pictures are still in my mind. so Lovely.

    • December 12, 2014 12:48 pm

      Hi Niels, did I spark a childhood memory there : ) Wonderful, your parents had good taste

  3. tony permalink
    December 12, 2014 12:22 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous. Thanx.


  4. December 12, 2014 5:19 pm

    Exquisite use of the medium, and so elegant too. His technique totally compliments nature. Just beautiful.

  5. December 15, 2014 1:14 pm

    I love, love his illustrations. The foxes are amazing…as all the other animals. Thanks a lot for sharing his works!

    • December 15, 2014 4:57 pm

      Cheers Michaela, there is something quite magical about his work isn’t there. More on wednesday so do pop back then : )

  6. Eva Hauserová permalink
    August 22, 2019 10:21 am

    I was fascinated by his illustrations in books about nature as a kid – and now I am rediscovering his magical work again. Thanks a lot for sharing it!

  7. February 6, 2021 7:05 pm

    that is not true!
    Mirko Hanák was in fact born in 1921 in Martin, Slovakia. or if you want to be less specific – he was born in Czechoslovakia, definitely not in Czech republic.

    • February 6, 2021 7:25 pm

      Thanks for your information.
      Mirko died in Prague, my mistake. All corrected now, cheers

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