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Description found in Archives
Place of creation
No place, unknown, or undetermined
Scope and content
Fonds includes illustrations, sketches and tracings for "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (1979), Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid" (1983), and "Canadian Fairy Tales" (1984). Typescripts for "The Little Mermaid" and "Canadian Fairy Tales" contain annotations by the artist. A second accession added correspondence and other working documentation and original illustrations for "Iduna and the Magic Apples" by Marianna Mayer (1988) and "Sea Witches" by Joanne Robertson (1991).
Copyright varies. The recipient of copies is responsible for determining whether material is subject to copyright and whether use of it does or does not constitute an infringement of copyright under the Copyright Act. Credit Library and Archives Canada.
Textual records; graphic material Preliminary finding aid available. Consult archivist. 90 (Paper)
Biography / Administrative history
Graphic designer and illustrator of children's books, Laszlo Gal was born in Hungary in 1933. He graduated with an art education diploma and taught in Budapest for three years, immigrating to Canada during the Hungarian Revolution (1956). Gal lived in Toronto and worked as a dishwasher, waiter, sign painter, artist of political portraits for the editorial page of the "Globe and Mail", layout artist, and finally was hired as a graphic designer for the CBC (1958-65). While vacationing in Italy, he presented his illustrations to the famous publishing house, Arnold Mondadori. Working on speculation, he produced 60 illustrations for "El Cid" and eventually received a contract to work exclusively on Mondadori children's books. He lived in Verona for four years (1965-69), illustrating two full-colour books a year for Mondadori. Returning to Canada in 1970, he began free-lance illustration. In partnership with William Toye, he illustrated "Cartier Discovers the St. Lawrence", which launched his career as a Canadian illustrator.
Gal has illustrated over 40 children's books, published in Spain, France, the United States, as well as, in Italy and Canada. Among his numerous awards are the 1978 IODE Book Award for "Why the Man in the Moon Is Not Happy and Other Eskimo Tales of Creation"; "My Name Is Not Odessa Yarker" and "The Shirt of the Happy Man". In 1980, he received the Canada Council Award for Children's Literature and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award for his work on Janet Lunn's "The Twelve Dancing Princesses", which he worked on for two years.
Gal's intricate drawings and paintings reflect the art of the period in which the story is set, allowing it to influence his choice of medium, composition and technique. Eva Martin's collection "Canadian Fairy Tales" (1984), reflects the artistic style of Europe adapted to a Canadian setting. The Chinese legend "The Enchanted Tapestry" (1987), is done in the style of Chinese landscape painting. "A Flash of Sea Water" (1989) is illustrated in the style of Persian miniatures to complement the text of poet, P.K. Page. Gal has illustrated his own texts of folktales, "Prince Ivan and the Firebird" (1991) and "The Parrot: An Italian Folktale" (1997). Laszlo Gal is considered one of Canada's most highly esteemed illustrators.
1. Littérature de jeunesse Archives.
2. Children Literature Archives.
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