Oesterreichische Monatsbilder (1900) is an Austrian calendar in book form, and a good reminder that the Art Nouveau style produced a huge amount of high-quality work in a very short space of time. The artists, Heinrich Lefler and Joseph Urban, were featured in a post a couple of years ago with their work for Die Buecher der Chronika der drei Schwestern, a book whose drawings were probably produced in tandem with the ones here. For the Monatsbilder the pair present a calendar whose dates are absent (so it could easily be used today) with each month featuring a variety of symbolic details: astrological signs and figures, birds, plants and other items relating to the month in question. Many of these are specific to Austria, as are the illustrations on the facing pages which depict the patron saints of the provinces. The book may be browsed in full or downloaded here.
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Die Buecher der Chronika der drei Schwestern (The Books of the Chronicles of the Three Sisters) is a German fairy tale set down by Johann Karl August Musäus, and presented here in a 1900 edition illustrated by Heinrich Lefler and Joseph Urban. Lefler and Urban were brothers-in-law who worked as set designers as well as illustrators; Urban was also an architect who later moved to the United States. One of his extant buildings is the Mar-a-Lago in Florida but he can’t be held responsible for its current use or its present owner.
Looking at the excellent illustrations the pair produced for this volume I’d guess that Urban concentrated on the building design which is much more elaborate and inventive than you generally see in children’s books. The selections here are mostly full-page pieces but the book is illustrated throughout, with the text flowing into and around the drawings.
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