In writing a post on bookplates, I was reminded that one of my favorite bookplate artists is Adolf Born, a Czech painter and illustrator who in addition to creating some very funny bookplates has also produced a wealth of prints, lithographs, and wonderful illustrations.. Almost everything Born does has a wry sense of humor that I find captivating, along with his sense of color and a general voluptuous-ness about life. How can one not resist the charm of the bookplate above, the Commedia masked mermaid with the fish on her head? Or the hilarity of the animal "Art Critics" below?
Beasts, the fantastic, and humans co-mingle comfortably in Born's world such at this group of travelers in "Duer's Tour Through Alps To Venice"; or Leonardo doing a portrait of his cat Liza with her enigmatic smile and beasty-birdy onlookers; or an "Intimate Meeting" between a suave dog and a young woman sharing a glass of wine (too much like my daughter and her beloved pit bull), and finally, a hilarious version of Leda and the Swan.
Go here to see a full gallery of Born's work -- it's a great way to have a few laughs, marvel at his whimsical imagination, and avoid doing any work of your own.