Hans Christian Andersen as an Artist

By Kjeld Heltoft
September 2005
Christian Ejlers' Forlag
ISBN: 8772410477
220 pages, Illustrated, 7" x 10"
$59.50 Hardcover


This is the largest selection of Hans Christian Andersen's visual art ever to have been presented in one book. Without having had any knowledge of Andersen's visual art, van Gogh was convinced that only a visual artist could write the way Andersen did. In a warm, precise style, Heltoft emphasizes the connection between Andersen's writing and his visual art, and presents the book's wealth of illustrative material in an entirely original way within a framework of excerpts from Andersen's works, correspondence and diary entries.

We cannot help being moved by the originality and charm of Andersen's visual art, but not until modernism's expansion of the concept of art have we come to understand the values in his naivistic drawings, surrealistic collages and subtly executed paper cuts. They are all based on a pronounced ability to observe and an uncompromising artistic instinct.

By means of modern reproduction techniques, the drawings in this book have been restored to their original graphic beauty, and the festive coloring of the paper cuts has been re-created. New material has been added, and works that have been lost have now been reproduced from the author's archives and in this way serve to make the book additionally interesting. It represents the best starting-point for an appreciation of Andersen's gifts as a visual artist.

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