Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Where are you now, Franz Van?




I'm a bit silly about Christmas. I really enjoy this time of year. Way too much to be a grownup.

One of the things I've always done is collect old magazines. The Christmas issues are my favorite. Somehow in my estate sale combing, I've acquired these old Christmas Ideals magazines. They're full of sentimental over-the-top poems and short essays about the season. But mostly they're full of all sorts of Christmas images. I'm image-oriented, to be sure. Here are 2 of the more intriguing paintings from the inside front and back covers of the 1965 issue. The artist signs it "Franz Van." I love the heavily stylized look of it -- the weirdly tall trees with feathers instead of needles, the fun figures ice skating and the mysterious mountainous setting. It could easily have been a background in Disney's Fantasia. I tried Googling Franz Van with no success. You have to wonder if he may have been an animation artist. Very dream-like image. I wanta go there!

2 comments:

Dave Knadler said...

Also intriguing: the blotches of bare roof on the house at left. A weirdly realistic detail for a such a stylized look.

richard crowson said...

Yeah, I agree. Plus the attention to other details like the little tracks in the snow on the roof, the little dots where drips have melted the snow on the branches on the right...strange. I love quirks like that. And those feathers instead of needles. Franz Van had his own vision, that's for sure.