This charming adult pop-up book by Jan Pieńkowski’s was published in 1996 by Simon & Schuster. The book opens up into a house, decorated and inhabited by over fifty artistic works. A small guidebook tucked in over the staircase opens with “Dear Art Lover, Welcome to our historic home. Thank you for choosing Botticelli’s and have a nice stay. – Botticelli.”
Jan Pieńkowski was born in Warsaw, Poland, on August 8, 1936. He was first exposed to paper art in an air raid shelter, where his family had taken refuge from Nazi firebombing during the Invasion of Poland; a Polish soldier entertained the children by cutting newspapers into fanciful shapes. Displaced by the war, he and his parents were refugees in several countries, eventually settling in England. Pieńkowski’s childhood hardships would go on to influence his art. He has said in interviews that his illustration work allowed him to channel the frightening monsters of his youth into innocent playthings. Pieńkowski has often used his paper cut technique to illustrate traditional stories. The detailed silhouettes over brightly coloured backgrounds are enjoyed by children and adults alike.