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Each of us remembers the wonderful Russian fairy tales that he read in childhood. Over time, they completely changed. People told them to each other, adding something of their own and thereby enriching the overall content. Tales were not published at first. Only in the 17th century, in its second half, books began to appear, which were called lubok.
In them one could only find individual illustrations with small explanations for them. It is worth noting that their artistic performance was absolutely poor quality. In the 19th century, many artists were seriously carried away by fabulous and epic themes. But here, each topic was transmitted only sporadically.
Bilibin was the first to create a children's book with folk tales. Editions were issued in large numbers, they had a huge number of magnificent illustrations. Bilibin's books were truly magnificent. Before him, such publications were intended only for a select circle.
The artist developed special techniques that made it possible to create single-style illustrations subordinate to the special plane of book pages. His drawings are not separated from each other. This is a whole ensemble. The entire book, including font, drawings, decorations, was stylized as a manuscript of ancient times.
Illustrations must be surrounded by ornamental frames. It seems that these are windows in a village house with fancy platbands. So the artist sought to convey the special spirit of antiquity. The ornament itself is similar to the embroidery of Russian shirts, we also see a herd of cows and fly agaric, which express evil.
Bilibin performed his illustrations on the texts of Afanasyev. So the tale "Sister Alyonushka" differs from the usual for us. Ivanushka turned into a kid, but he did not become a boy back. Alyonushka becomes the queen.
Each illustration of Bilibin was as accurate as possible to clarify the text. Even if a person could not read, he could scroll through a book and understand from the pictures what it was about.