Born November 16, 1916, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Miroslav Sasek wrote a remarkable series of books that were first published in the 1960s.
He trained as an architect to please his parents, who didn’t want him to work as an artist. However, after receiving his degree he attended l’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France.
He escaped from Prague in 1948, settling in Munich, where his wife worked. The couple had one son, Dusan Pedro Sasek. Miroslav Sasek worked for Radio Free Europe from 1951 to 1957, before he began the “This Is” series of books with its first title, This is Paris. He initially planned to do just three books about Paris, London, and Rome, but then he realized how much fun they were to research and illustrate. By the time the series was finished in 1974, there were 18 titles in all. This is London and This is New York were noted on the New York Times Best Illustrated list in 1959 and 1960 respectively.
Rizzoli republished many of the books long after Sasek’s death in 1980. His artwork and text are timeless and enchanting.