Happy Birthday Madeline


Ink and colored crayon drawing, sold Sotheby’s, April 11, 2011, realized: $6,250.

Happy Anniversary Madeline! 75 years ago Ludwig Bemelmans (Austrian-American, 1898-1962) published his first story of the little girl in a Catholic boarding school in Paris. That was 1939. Five more were published between 1953 and 1961; a seventh,  published posthumously in 1999, was discovered after his death.

Many of us who grew up with this series can still recite from memory:

“In an old house in Paris,
that was covered with vines,
lived twelve little girls in two straight lines

…the smallest one was Madeline.”

M23910-5a 004


Gouache and watercolor on paper, Swann, November 17, 2011 for $15,600.

Madeleine w:c


Madeleine in front of Notre Dame, watercolor on paper, Christie’s, May 18, 2011 sold for $40,000.


Bemelmans also created many cover illustrations for The New Yorker, designed a set for a Broadway show and involved with several projects in Hollywood.

And we cannot forget, the painted murals at New York’s Carlyle Hotel.