February 4, 2013

Yan Nascimbene

It came as a great shock to hear of the untimely death of Yan Nascimbene last Friday. I was introduced to Yan by my artist, John Mattos, at lunch some years ago. I had seen Yan’s work for years at the Society of Illustrators and always admired his beautiful technique and control of the watercolor medium. His work was charming, buoyant, and uplifting. I always compared him to the wonderful Japanese screen painters that I would regularly see displayed at the MET in New York and the Asian Museum in San Francisco.

His work had a timeless, airy quality that I much admired. After our initial meeting we agreed to work together. One of the biggest compliments I can give an illustrator is that he is a  “pro’s pro” and Yan was that. An artist in this business needs to have nerves of steel what with crazy deadlines, multiple changes, and the ability to pivot on a dime to change direction.

Yan never let me down…he worked his tail off to satisfy his many clients and always came in on time with a great piece. At this very moment I am looking at two wonderful watercolors that are currently on loan in my office and I’m thinking of all the many wonderful conversations we had.

Yan, you will be missed, but your work will live for the ages. 

-Richard Solomon


  1. This is so sad. What a nice fellow he was. I briefly met Yan on facebook and we talked about pastry. From just this small encounter he extended the invitation to me to meet him in Paris for madeleines next time I was there, an invitation I fully planned to take him up on but alas...
    The man could work watercolors like nobody's business, as well.
    I am truly sad to hear this

  2. I am just hearing this news today, Richard ~ sending my condolences & love. His work transported me & brought such joy! We are so honored to have published Crouching Tiger recently with him. ~ Anne