Leo Lionni (1910-1999) was born in Amsterdam to a family with artistic inclinations. His father, who came from a prominent Sephardic Jewish family with Italian origins, was an artisanal diamond cutter while his mother was a singer. Young Lionni’s training began as early as elementary school at a time when the Dutch capital’s progressive education system emphasized art and craft. As a young man, he was given a permit to sketch at the Rijksmuseum, where he came into contact with the work of Piet Mondrian, Rembrandt de Rijn, and Vincent Van Gogh. In 1925, after emigrating briefly to Philadelphia, Lionni and his family moved to Genoa, Italy where he attended a commercial high school. Lionni quickly learned... more.