Mitsumasa Anno, a veteran of World War II, spent 10 years after the war as an art and math teacher before beginning his career as a painter, children’s book author and illustrator. He is best-known internationally for his wordless “Journey” series, which feature gorgeously detailed, panoramic views of a country; visual celebrations that reveal the cultural and historical importance of a significant place through the artist’s mischievous worldview.
Anno started the series with “Anno’s Journey” (1977) based on his experiences and the drawings he took while he traveled through northern Europe. Anno’s distinctive pen and ink/watercolor paintings draw on his keen sense of detail and educator’s eye to capture not only landscapes and natural vistas but also the art and architecture of the country. He weaves in allusions to history, literature and folktales while also depicting people at work and in leisure. “Anno’s Spain,” for example, includes references to the running of the bulls and Don Quixote’s windmills.
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