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#Jean Mallard#watercolor

Jean Mallard Hides Enchanting Mysteries Under the Dreamy Shroud of Dusk

January 31, 2024

Grace Ebert

a flying rig with wheels, plants, and people interspersed hovers in a purple and pink sky

All images © Jean Mallard, shared with permission

Awash in blues and greens, Jean Mallard’s watercolor illustrations plunge us into enchanting worlds of knights, castles, and dark forests. The Paris-based artist gravitates toward mystery and magic, rendering tiny characters amid vast landscapes of rolling hills and pastel skies.

Many works shown here are commissions for a children’s film festival and a book of stories from the Middle Ages, and all appear as if from a dream. Mallard envisions a hot air balloon with an entire ecosystem tucked in its basket and flying rigs with plants and peacocks. “I liked mixing in this floating vessel, real people and other hybrids, like messengers from an imaginary world who guide us towards fiction and dreams,” he shares.

Most recently, Mallard has turned his focus to night and the strange, bewitching nature of dusk. “It’s one of my favorite subjects because it’s a good way to tell, through landscapes and nocturnal atmospheres, the feelings that go through me and that I can’t express in any other way,” he says. This fascination emerges in a dual exhibition with Lili Wood, whose bright, daytime paintings counter Mallard’s moody evenings. Titled Wandering, that show is on view through February 24 at Burronzu Gallery in Liège.

Keep up with Mallard’s latest illustrations—he’s currently working on a series for storybook and a collection based on Midsummer—on Instagram. Shop prints and originals at La Slow Galerie.

a knight wanders in a forest of green trees and flowers, with a red lion lurking nearby

“Yvain and the Lion”

a hot air balloon with an ecosystem and drippy puddle in its basket flies in a pastel sky

“Hot air balloon”

three soldiers on horses stand on a hill and look at a castle city in the distance under a sky with a crescent moon and constellations

“City of Eternal Night”

a tiny pool of water surrounded by trees and houses sits in a vast blue expanse

“Lost Oasis”

an illuminated amusement park ride dangles seats in the sky with lush blue foliage in the foreground


a knight on a white horse stands near a forest and peers up at a castle on a mountaintop in the distance

“The town in the mountain”

a man and woman walk along a beach with a lush green forest in the background. a dense cluster of castles sits underneath a lake in the foreground

“The castle under the lake”

#Jean Mallard#watercolor

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