Though as a rule I am not much interested in the way Greek antiquity is consumed by individual artists, I consider book illustration a different story. I believe many illustrators played a major role in forming the picture one bears in one's mind on what life in ancient Greece in its different periods looked like. When examining an illustrator's work one often answers many questions on established convictions, especially those which have been proven wrong but still hold strong in popular imagination. This is particularly evident in the way people (archaeologists and non-specialists alike) perceive the Minoan and Mycenaean world -in which I am personally more interested in. One cannot think of a Minoan palace without evoking Gillierons' images or think of a Mycenaean megaron without recalling Piet de Jong's colourful reconstructions.
Miroslav Sasek is a well known children's travel books illustrator, most famous for his "This is" series of books on several countries and cities of the world. In 1966 he published a "This is Greece" book with interesting iconography replicating several cliches related to Greece. The following photographs present this point colourfully.
(all photographs reproduced here are via this SITE)
What is more interesting though is another Sasek book, published in 1961, called "Stone is not Cold" in which he used collages to incorporate photographs of ancient sculpture in his own humorous sketch settings. These sketches illustrate Greek and Roman sculpture photographs from the museums of London and Rome, which were obviously taken when Sasek travelled there to work on his "This is London" and "This is Rome" books.
Given the fact that people often tend to refer to ancient Greek works of art as "sacred", Sasek's ingenious appropriations would easily be called "sacrilegious".
Want to know more about Miroslav Sasek and his books? Click HERE.