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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fantastical or Curious Art from the German Magazine JUGEND (1897-1927)

Artist: H. Anetsberger of Munich


I have spent the last week intently pouring through digital copies of Jugend magazine, held by Heidelberg University. So far, the university has put online the years 1897 through 1927. This was a weekly art, humor and human interest magazine. I have looked at so many illustrations, I now see everything with an illustrated eye - our cats have black lines around them, as does the furniture, the trees, and each piece of the gravel in the drive. It's a very curious phenomenon.

This blog is about some of the German art that made me do a double-take. The magazine often depicted centaurs. I exclaimed when I saw the one above; not what you would expect from watching Disney's animated movie Fantasia.

Artist: Gertrud Pfeiffer-Kohrt

This one of God painting the animals made me smile and look closely.

Artist: G. Hirth
The magazine during its Art Nouveau period often printed art of mermaids. I thought this sea nymph so poignant, it would make a good ad for Green Peace.


"What is she thinking?" I wondered. I don't read German, so I never discovered.
Artist: August Geigenberger
I thought this print would look nice on my bathroom wall until I saw her misshapen face. People lost their teeth early in those days, so her face probably wasn't out-of-the-ordinary to a viewer of the time. Maybe.
Artist: Fritz Erler
Jugend published nude art in every issue until the late twenties. I suspect some type of law was passed that curtailed it.  I think she's supposed to be illuminated by moonlight, which lies behind her. I refer to her as "jaundice girl." Still, she's rather lovely.
Artist: Richard Muller (Dresden)
Mice as art rather than as an illustration for a children's book.
Artist: Richard Muller (Dresden)

I'm almost certain the mice in this bag of maize were not to illustrate an article on the protection of food storage and health.
The toadstool mother looks especially forlorn to have such a family - but it certainly got my attention.
Artist: Paul Rieth (Munich)
The advent of the automobile inspired this artist. Note how upset the subjects are - they are just realizing the speed kills.

Artist: Alois Wierer
This does look like an illustration for a children's book, but who knows? It's called the Hex Garden.
I did say that it was intended to be a magazine of humor.  This might have been published after the magazine ceased printing nude art.

World War I brought a change to the magazine. The yearly flamboyant Carnival issues (which I will address in another blog) ceased. The rest of 1914 though about 1916 were intensely patriotic.

The German eagle protecting the Fatherland. Note the carving of the Valkyrie  in the cliff.

Artist: Leo Putz
This depicted the successful invasion of Russia.  I'd never thought of the Russian bear as being a polar bear.

Women's skirts were shortened during the war to save fabric, but not this high. A bit of humor around 1917. She's actually wearing buttoned leggings for modesty's sake.
After the Great War, humor returned in full force to the pages of Jugend.  I think this was published for one of the carnival issues.
There was feminism in Germany. Note that the man bows his head before the great mother, but the woman raises her arms in adoration. This is from the early 20s.
Artist: Leo Putz

I'm leaving the most surprising for last. There was a third showing a snail man and a snail woman making love, which I decided not to publish.
Artist: Leo Putz

Easier for my sensibilities to show a man and a mermaid making love.
Artist: Max Klinger

1 comment:

  1. These are marvelous! I especially love the mermaid "Green Peace" and the mice. What a great thing to study==thanks for sharing.

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