Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jaroslav Bradac

Czech artist Jaroslav Bradac created and directed the animated version of "The Treatise" in the 1974 film (which I first mentioned here) of Hermann Hesse's novel Steppenwolf. I just received a copy of the book Herman Hesse Treatise On The Steppenwolf; An Artist's Revelation (Paddington Press, 1975) that reproduces forty-five of Bradac's paintings along with the full text of Hesse's "Treatise on the Steppenwolf," a commentary on the predicament of modern man.

The symbols employed by Bradac in his paintings include spiral shells, palmistry hands, signs of the zodiac, phrenological heads, winged skulls, pentacles, clocks, hourglasses, masks, alchemical signs, labyrinths and chakra diagrams in addition to the ubiquitous drawing of the head of Harry Haller (who strongly resembles Freud) morphing into the wolf of the steppes. Lace doilies and the stock market page provide interesting background texture.

Here's a nice shot of the cover from an extensive 1500 page site on Hermann Hesse. Red Star Cafe mentions Bradac in a May 2008 entry about Steppenwolf. Bradac created illustrations for the children's book series "Uncle Wiggily" including Uncle Wiggily and the Will-a-wong, but for the most part there is little information about him available.

(Update: 13 September 2011 - Nice animated sequence from Steppenwolf on YouTube.)

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