A selection from Das Moderne Deutsche Gebrauchs-Exlibris (1922) edited by Richard Braungart, an overview of the practioners of the bookplate form in Germany and Austria during the first decades of the 20th century. Some of the German and Austrian art magazines featured here over the past couple of years included bookplate designs, and Braungart’s collection includes many artists from those magazines: Melchior Lechter, Hugo Höppener (aka Fidus), Julius Diez, Heinrich Vogeler, Marcus Behmer, Franz von Bayros, Koloman Moser, Carl Otto Czeschka, Ephraim Moses Lilien, Franz Stassen and others. 400 examples in all.
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Endpaper design with an ex libris plate by the artist.
Another prolific illustrator with a clear-line style, Franz Stassen (1869–1949) here decorates the pages of Musikalische Schriften, a book devoted to the musical works of writer ETA Hoffmann. I haven’t checked but I’m fairly sure that Stassen was featured in Jugend magazine a few times, his florid style in this undated volume would certainly complement the work of the other artists there. Like some of those artists, Stassen was enthused by Teutonic nationalism during the First World War, a path that led eventually to work for, and plaudits, from the Nazis. We’re also told (via an unsourced Wikipedia detail) that he ended his days in a gay relationship, something the Third Reich would have either overlooked or conveniently ignored.
Continue reading “Franz Stassen’s illustrated Hoffmann”