Thursday, March 19, 2015

Artist Feature: Albert Weisgerber

Foundling Bird

Albert Weisgerber (1878-1915) was a German artist whose illustrations of Grimm's Fairy Tales are very dark, literally and figuratively. Not only did he choose darker tones on the color spectrum, but the tales he chose to illustrate and the scenes he chose from them tend to be some of the more violent and morbid. For contrast, he was a contemporary of Paul Friedrich Meyerheim, whose cheerful and pleasant illustrations of pretty blonde heroines and animals in Grimm tales I shared earlier this month.

Take a look at the "Hansel and Gretel" illustrations below. Here, the witch's house is not the colorful candy palace that is every child's dream-but a drab brown house surrounded by eerie trees. Then he is one of the few illustrators (like Willy Planck) who chose to actually show the most violent scene, in which Gretel pushes the witch into the oven -while most images of this fairy tale will show the candy house, the children lost in the woods, or even Hansel in captivity, most artists shy away from actually showing the witch entering the hot oven.

Hansel and Gretel

More Grimm tales he illustrated:

Seven Ravens

The Death of the Little Hen

The Devil and his Grandmother

The Devil's Sooty Brother

The Seven Swabians

The Youth who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was

The pictures become even more chilling when you know a little of Weisgerber's history: he died in World War I while serving in the same regiment as Adolf Hitler.

1 comment:

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