Carigiet Alois (1902 – 1985)
Graphic designer, painter and illustrator, Carigiet was born in Trun, Grisons, but soon moved with his family to Chur, where he started working as an apprentice decorator. However, he immediately showed a talent for drawing, filling notebooks with sketches of alpine landscapes and rural areas, farms and animals, anatomical studies of heads and beaks of birds. He moved to Zurich, starting a career as a graphic designer, obtaining many successes and awards. In 1927, Carigiet opened its own agency, which will advertise some of the most famous political and commercial posters of the 30s. Although he had never had an academic training in the visual arts, its advertisements revealed a strong influence of contemporary art.
Theather lover – his brother Zarli was a known actor – Alois Carigiet is also one of the founders of the Cabaret Cornichon in Zurich, the most significant satirical experience in Swiss when Europe were sinking into the dark Nazi period.
Carigiet abandoned Zurich and, returned to the mountains of Graubünden in the early ’40s, he devoted himself to landscapes and alpine fauna paintings. The meeting with Selina Chönz, children’s books author, marked however a new turning point in his professional life: he accepted, in fact, the proposal to illustrate the book “A Bell for Ursli”, published in 1945. The extraordinary success of the book, first published in German and then in English, is also attributed to its colorful and intense compositions, praised by many art critics. Others five books in collaboration with Chönz followed the first, as well as many others illustrated and written by himself over all the sixties. His reputation as an illustrator was finally recognized in 1966, when he was honored with the Hans Christian Andersen Awards, the most important recognition for authors and illustrators of children’s books.
He died in his beloved Trun, in August 1985.