Erica Priester on John Bauer

John Bauer is a famous illustrator from Jönköping, Sweden. He is most known for the illustrations he made for a book that came out each year, the annual Bland tamtar och troll (Among elves and trolls). In the editions he worked on from 1907-1915, he put classic folklore into pictures that depicted the essence of the stories. He illustrated elves, trolls, animals, and princesses. The stories describe the trolls as villains, and with this Bauer was able to allow the reader to be warned, while never being frightened by the trolls. These stories are located in the deepest parts of the Swedish forest, where darkness lives, but Bauer added light to his illustrations through the moon, and around the princesses. His illustrations help tell these classic Swedish folklore, and help the stories live on. I especially liked the nature aspect of his work and the beauty behind it. Because I grew up in Minnesota, it felt like home. (Image: John Bauer from Alfred Smedberg’s The Seven Wishes in Among Pixies and Trolls.)


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