Thanks are due again to Mr Peacay at BibliOdyssey for drawing attention to this recent addition to the Internet Archive from the Smithsonian collection. Die Entwicklung der modernen Buchkunst in Deutschland (1901) is a compendium of German book illustration edited by Otto Grautoff, and its a particularly good anthology with a lot of content I haven’t seen repeated elsewhere. Many of the artists represented have been featured here already, not least because a number of them appeared regularly in Jugend magazine: Thomas Theodor Heine, Ephraim Moses Lilien, Heinrich Vogeler, and the most eccentric of all German artists of the period, the naturist and mystic known as Fidus (Hugo Höppener) whose drawings receive an entire chapter.
Heine’s depiction of “butterfly dancer” Loïe Fuller.
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Another Art Nouveau journal partially emerged from the world’s libraries, Art et Décoration was a French equivalent of The Studio, launched a few years after its British counterpart in 1897. The examples here are from a cover design competition in the first issue which yielded the usual complement of decorous muses and florid borders; The Studio used to hold similar competitions. For now the Internet Archive only has the four issues of A&D, the first two then numbers 41 & 42. Here’s hoping that more become available, I’m naturally curious to see how they treated the Exposition Universelle of 1900.
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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.
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A design by Emanuel Margold.
This post concludes the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 25 covers the period from October 1909 to March 1909, and while the Internet Archive has further editions available they make a big jump after this number to 1923. The later editions are still interesting, of course, but in presentation and content they’re very different to what went before. Despite the text of these magazines being entirely German it’s been an education going through them not only for the detailed attention given to artists often passed over in books, but also for the articles reporting notable events in European art history as they happened. We have the Robarts Library of the University of Toronto to thank for having made these publications available.
An illustration from a series by Carl Otto Czeschka for Die Nibelungen by Franz Keim.
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