DANIEL DE BRUIN
Requiescat in pace
Heraldic Artist and Bookplate Collector
Daniel de Bruin was born in Holland on 23 September 1950 at Krimpen aan den IJssel. He passed away, quite suddenly, on 19 October 2010. Although he worked for more than 30 years at the cutting edge of computer technology, his interest lay in the quiet and peaceful world of heraldic arts.
Daniel started collecting heraldic manuscripts, grants of arms and antiquarian books in 1973 and using his extensive collection as a source material, he studied heraldic art and design. By 1976 Daniel had become a passionate collector of heraldic bookplates and commissioned several of Europe's finest engravers to make bookplates for his own use and through this experience he became acquainted with the art of bookplate design. With his fast growing knowledge of heraldic and graphic arts, Daniel made his first heraldic bookplate in 1981. Discerning bookplate collectors were attracted from the beginning by his modernism and began commissioning plates from him. His vision was to combine traditional heraldry with modern graphics, imaginative concepts and integrated lettering.
His work has appeared in publications in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Holland, Portugal and a number of other countries. Several of his bookplates were featured in Von Volborth's The Art of Heraldry. Click his picture above right for an excellent article on his life and work.
From the mid-80s onward he exhibited work at international exlibris biennales and exhibitions from St Petersburg to Hong Kong and from Tokyo to Beograd. He has also held several personal exhibitions featuring both his own work and bookplates from his extensive historic collection. His expertise in this fine art form led him to be the chairman of the jury of Holland's first bookplate competition in 1990.
Daniel designed and painted armorials in all the European heraldic traditions. His work was marked with an ermine spot. The selection of this mark reveals the artist's sentiments using the elegant symbol of purity derived from the myth that the animal would rather to run into fire than dirty its paws in mud.
Some of Daniel's bookplates can appear to be controversial or may sometimes look avant-garde (his motto was, not surprisingly, DARE TO BE DIFFERENT). However, he did not deny traditional heraldic values and forms. On the contrary, he added to the artistic vision of European heraldic heritage.
He will be sorely missed in an ever-shrinking world of heraldic artists.
Click the image below for the Spring 2007 issue of The Armiger's News,
featuring a reprint of an extensive article written by Daniel for The Bookplate Society's publication,
Bookplate Journal, entitled "Constructing Modern Armorials"