Did you ever wonder which artists Disney's animators admired ?
From the conversations I had with them, I can tell you that the range was pretty wide. They all knew about the lively drawings of Heinrich Kley, and they appreciated the realism in Norman Rockwell's work. Frank and Ollie liked Edgar Degas very much, Marc and Milt were big fans of Picasso.
During early visits in the 1980ies to their homes, I noticed that both animators, Marc and Milt kept a framed print by a Swiss artist on the wall. 
That artist is Hans Erni, who turned 102 this year, and still draws and paints every day at his studio in Switzerland. His life work includes interpretations of classic themes as well as designs for postage stamps and posters.
When I look at his art, I see a drawing style that echoes the Renaissance.
Classically drawn figures within abstract environments. Marc Davis used this approach in some of his own fine art as well.

Here are a few examples of Erni's work, mostly from the 1950ies.












 
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