KAREL THOLE. CREATOR OF UNIVERSES

KAREL THOLE. CREATOR OF UNIVERSES

Biography

Possibly there are a few rare people in Italy for whom the name Karel Thole doesn’t mean much, but it is extremely unlikely that they won’t have come across any of the amazing illustrations by this authentic giant of design, and had their imagination influenced by them. Born in Bussum, in Holland, in 1914, Thole left an indelible mark, especially for the quality of his covers  of the “Urania” science fiction novels (from 1959) published by  Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. As the expert Ferruccio Giromini has written, «the technical eclecticism of Thole is astonishing: in sixty years of work he explored every technique from pencil to charcoal, from China blacks to the grays of gum arabic, from a few engravings on a plate to acrobatics with a scraper board (the difficult art of scraping away white marks from a card previously covered in a black covering: a method in which few can excel), finishing with his later Italian tempera polychrome works.». Compared to Hieronymus Bosch because of his similar style, at the same time ironic, Gothic and metaphysical, Thole (who died in Cannobio, in Piedmont, in 2000, having in the meantime established himself in Italy)  represented a real watershed with his work: the iconography and landscapes of fantasy have, thanks to him, enjoyed a new season from which they have never turned back, and never will.