{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #7


Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 7 covers the period from October 1900 to March 1901 and features a set of ornamental capitals throughout this edition designed by Karl Lürtzing, part of a presentation of typefaces in the Art Nouveau style. The figures in Lürtzing’s alphabet all seem to be Biblical or mythological (as with David and Eve above) although some are easier to decipher than others. Volume 6 paid a visit to the Exposition Universelle in Paris and there’s a few more examples from that event here, along with further examinations of the best in German art and design. As usual, anyone wishing to see these samples in greater detail is advised to download the entire volume (which comprises over 300 pages) at the Internet Archive. There’ll be more DK&D next week.


Remarkable interiors by Richard Riemerschmid.







To date, the best peacock pattern textile design I’ve come across, credited to one Frau Dunsky. (For the best pattern featuring actual peacocks, see Walter Crane and William Morris.) This would have been a great success as a wallpaper design in the 1960s.




Part of a feature on Sascha Schneider’s Leipzig murals.


Was there ever a time before or since 1900 when women were displayed dallying so frequently with octopuses or, in this case, squid? There’s no credit for this picture but it’s part of a feature on artist Fritz Erler (see below) so is probably his work.


Fritz Erler is classed among the minor German Symbolists for works such as these, murals for the music room of the Villa Neisser, Munich, which render in pictorial form different musical styles. The article has photos of the room, the design of which was a collaboration between Erler and his brother, Erich. Two of the more eccentric panels are shown here. I’ve no idea why Scherzo (above) would require a half-naked man and a wild bear, while Tanz (Dance) below, is one of the stranger Salomés of this period with her tiny head and vertical hair.



Another Symbolist Erler piece, Die Pest (The Plague), a painting which was prominently featured in Jugend magazine the same year. Erler achieved considerable popularity towards the end of his life, and also lasting ignominy, by painting portraits and propaganda pieces for the Nazi Party.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #6
Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #5
Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #4
Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #2
Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #1
Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration
Jugend Magazine revisited



Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {magazines}, {painting}, {sculpture}, {symbolists}, {typography}.

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9 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Gabriel McCann

  2. #2 posted by John


    Nice. I did something similar for the forthcoming Lambshead book, collaging capitals from pre-existing objects.

  3. #3 posted by Gabriel McCann


    Looking forward to seeing that.

  4. #4 posted by Thombeau


    Those Reimershmid interiors are incredible!

  5. #5 posted by John


    Aren’t they just? I’d seen sketched designs before but this is the first time I’d seen photos.

  6. #6 posted by Gabriel McCann


    Octopuses (shouldn’t it be octopi?)
    has Jeff Vandermeer seen this?

  7. #7 posted by John




    Pl. octopodes, anglicized octopuses.

    I think everyone’s seen that site by now, I made a post about it a while back.

  8. #8 posted by Gabriel McCann


    The plural form octopi is often described as a hypercorrection. The Oxford English Dictionary (2008 Draft Revision)[35] lists octopuses, octopi and octopodes (in that order); it labels octopodes “rare”, although the correct Greek plural form, and notes that octopi derives from the “apprehension” that oct?p?s is a second declension Latin noun, though it is not. It is a Latinization of Greek third-declension masculine okt?pous (????????, ‘eight-foot’), plural okt?podes (?????????). If the word were native to Latin, it would be oct?p?s, plural oct?pedes, after the pattern of p?s (‘foot’), plural ped?s, analogous to “centipede”.[36] The actual Latin word for octopus and other similar species is polypus, from Greek polýpous (????????, ‘many-foot’); usually the inaccurate plural polyp? is used instead of polypod?s.

    This is worse than the Life of Brian sketch


  9. #9 posted by Gabriel McCann


    PS Sorry I missed your octopulps post before






“feed your head”