Home > Artists > Ludwig Bemelmans

Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962)

Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962)

Though he has achieved lasting fame as the creator of the hugely popular Madeline series of children’s books, Ludwig Bemelmans was a wide-ranging and prolific illustrator and cartoonist. His early years serving in hotels in ‘Roaring Twenties’ Manhattan gave him access to New York high society, and his artwork would later become symbolic of the city’s glamour, appearing on covers of The New Yorker, in advertisements and painted on the walls of hotel bars.

Ludwig Bemelmans was born in Meran, South Tyrol in Austria-Hungary (now Italy), on 27 April 1898, the son of Lampert Bemelmans, a Belgian painter and hotelier, and his wife, Franciska (née Fischer). Until the age of six, he lived with his parents in Gmunden, on the Traunsee in Upper Austria. In 1904, after his father left his mother and Ludwig’s governess, both pregnant with his child, for another woman, Bemelmans moved with his mother and his brother, Oscar, to live in his mother’s native city of Regensburg, Germany.

Bemelmans endured a difficult childhood. He had grown up being taught French as his first language, and his struggles with the German language and style of discipline made him an outcast at school.

There are no results