Monday, April 18, 2016

Heinrich Lefler

In the process of putting together a recent Guest Post in which Lissa Sloan explored religious/immortal characters in fairy tales, I discovered a new-to-me fairy tale illustrator with some gorgeous images, Heinrich Lefler (1863-1919). These images seem to have such a wide variety of styles that I was inclined to doubt they were all done by the same artist (such as the two illustrations of the final scene of "Six Swans"-very different, but both attributed to Lefler). Unfortunately I had a hard time tracking down more authoritative sources than Pinterest, so if anyone knows better, please let me know in the comments! He did often work with his brother in law, Joseph Urban, so maybe that explains some of the differences. In any case, enjoy some eye candy!

wild+swans+illustration - Google-søk:
The Six Swans By Heinrich Lefler and Joseph Urban:
Six Swans

Heinrich Lefler/Joseph Urban, Illustration for Snow White in Bilderbogen für Schule und Haus (1905):
'Schneewittchen / Snow White’ by the Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Heinrich Lefler. Part of a fairy tale calender published 1905 by Berger & Wirth, Leipzig.:
Snow White

hans christian andersen illustrations - Google-søk:
Andersen's "Princess and the Swineherd"

Godfather Death

little mermaid, heinrich lefler:
Little Mermaid

fuckyeahvintageillustration:  'Rapunzel’ by the Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Heinrich Lefler. Part of a fairy tale calender published 1905 by Berger & Wirth, Leipzig. Source:

Heinrich Lefler, "Dornroeschen" or "Sleeping Beauty":
fuckyeahvintageillustration: 'Dornröschen / Sleeping Beauty’ by...:
Sleeping Beauty

The Goose Girl -- Heinrich Lefler -- a really good story about a princess who avoids sexual harassment.:
Goose Girl

Hänsel and Gretl by Heinrich Lefler ~ 1905:
Hansel and Gretel

Original watercolor by Heinrich Lefler for Die Nachtigall [The Emperor’s Nightingale] -- offered by Battledore Ltd.:
The Nightingale

'Aschenbrödel / Cinderella’ by the Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Heinrich Lefler. Part of a fairy tale calender published 1905 by Berger & Wirth, Leipzig.:


  1. Very beautiful pictures. I've seen the scene when Snow White awakens in nd on multiple fairy tale ooks by now, it's good to know the artists name

  2. I really like these. I have a Grimm's collection with the single Sleeping Beauty illustration on the cover, but also didn't know who the artist was. It is interesting to see the different styles, but I suppose there's nothing stopping an artist from experimenting....Thanks for posting these:)

    1. It's probably a sign of a really good artist if they're able to do a variety of styles! I just hope it's accurate info...

  3. I'm new to this blog (though I've read a few posts from it in the past, I think), but I'm a HUGE fan of fairy tales. I LOVE the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, and I've read many translations of their stories. I think that Lucy Crane did an excellent job at translating their stories. I know Margeret Hunt's translation was a tad more accurate (as well as the fact that she translated the entire collection, rather than just some of the tales), but Crane's translation is more readable, and will always be my favorite.

    My favorite fairy tale is "The Goose Girl." I liked the kind of "mystery" aspect to it, where the king is trying to figure out why the girl is so mysterious. It's an interesting read, and I've recommended it to many people who are interested in the pre-Disney versions of fairy tales.

    I could go on and on about my history with fairy tales, but I think I'll stop, because it's off topic with what you've posted here.

    About the pictures posted.... They are nice to look at! They really have that fairy tale "feel" to them, if you know what I mean. However, I seriously doubt they're all drawn by the same person, unless maybe the two pictures for "The Six Swans" we're from two separate books of that story that were both illustrated by him.

    By the way, I'd the second picture from "Little Briar Rose" the same picture that was used on the cover of Jack Zipes' translation of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" (his original translation, not the one of the first Grimm edition)?

    1. Great to meet another fairy tale enthusiast! I must admit I really know very little about the different translators of the Grimm fairy tales, I know my own copy is not an especially trustworthy one.

      But I also love the Goose Girl! Such a great underrated fairy tale.