Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 2 covers the period April–September 1898 and, as before, this issue can be downloaded in a variety of formats at the Internet Archive. This edition opens with a feature on the Wertheim department store, Berlin, design by Alfred Messel. Like many examples of Art Nouveau architecture, the store suffered damage during the Second World War and was eventually demolished.
This number also has a lengthy feature devoted to artist Hans Christiansen whose work was appearing regularly in issues of Jugend magazine at this time. The colour panels below are Christiansen’s work.
The aged, venerable and very staid Hans Thoma is the subject of another article. Thoma was a married and highly respectable artist whose work nonetheless contains a preponderance of nude males. One can’t read too much into this, however, naked figures detached from mythology were more prevalent in German art than elsewhere and it was around this time that the German Naturist movement began to develop.
Several pages are devoted to the monumental architectural designs of Otto Rieth, some of which seem more suited to Bayreuth or the pages of The Lord of the Rings than the German landscape. Rieth also had a professional interest in the naked figure, as these photos demonstrate.
The early issues of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration all end with proposed cover designs by different artists and designers. There’ll be more next week.