karl arnold

6 04 2020

KARL ARNOLD, 1883 – 1953, was one of the leading caricaturists and illustrators of the first half of the 20th century in Germany. KARL ARNOLD studied drawing in his native Neustadt before entering the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich in 1901, where he trained under the artists Karl Raupp, Ludwig Löfftz and Franz von Stuck, and where among his fellow students were Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. in 1907 Arnold contributed his first illustration to the satirical magazine Simplicissimus, with which he was to be closely associated for much of his later career. Arnold spent some months in Paris between 1910 and 1911 from where he continued to contribute illustrations for Simplicissimus and its rival, the art and literary journal Jugend. in 1913 Arnold was, along with Kandinsky and Alexej von Jawlensky, one of the founders of the Neue Münchener Sezession (New Munich Secession) group, and contributed to its first exhibition, held the following year. between 1934 and 1936 he served as the director of Simplicissimus, and in 1936 engaged in an exclusive contract as a cartoonist for the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung. beset by illness and following a stroke in 1943, Arnold produced very little work before his death in 1953, not long after being appointed an honorary member of the Academy in Munich. Arnold’s graphic work began to be recognized again in the 1970’s, with a retrospective of his drawings and caricatures held in Berlin and elsewhere in 1975 and an exhibition dedicated to Simplicissimus at the Haus der Kunst in Munich in 1977. as has been noted of Arnold’s illustrations, ‘his unique quality as an artist is the brilliant characterisation of types and the extraordinarily telling conjunction of picture and caption.’
( from stephen ongpin fine art )

© karl arnold / simpicissimus



28 03 2020

OLAF LEONARD GULBRANSSON, 1873 – 1958, was a Norwegian artist, painter and designer. he is probably best known for his caricatures and illustrations.
from 1890, he worked for many Norwegian magazines. in 1900 he studied at the Académie Colarossi in Paris, and moved in 1902 to Germany to work for the satirical magazine Simplicissimus in Munich after editor Albert Langen had been in contact with author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson looking for Norwegian talent. with publicity increasing Gulbransson’s fame, and even though he lived in Germany between 1923 and 1927, he drew for the Norwegian Tidens tegn newspaper.
in 1929 he became Professor at the art academy in Munich. the art academy in Berlin arranged a special exhibition in 1933 to celebrate Gulbransson’s 60th birthday, which was shut down by the Nazi party after only two days.
Simplicissimus editors Franz Schoenberner and Thomas Theodor Heine have claimed that Gulbransson actively cooperated with the Nazis from 1933 on, and this co-operation was sharply criticized by the writer Klaus Mann. during World War II, after his own home country was occupied by the Germans, he produced caricatures against the Allies, in particular against Winston Churchill. in 1941 he was made an honorary member of the Society of Berlin Artists and in 1942 of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. on the occasion of his 70th birthday in 1943 he was awarded the Goethe Medal for Art and Science and was made Emeritus Professor of the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich.
( from wikipedia )

see as well my earlier posts – here and here

© gulbransson, simplicissimus

more blix

27 03 2020

Ragnvald Blix, 1882 – 1958, was a Norwegian illustrator, caricaturist and magazine editor. he was particularly known for his anti-Nazi drawings World War II.
Ragnvald Blix was born in Oslo, the son of a theologian and Norwegian minister of the church. Blix was an entirely self-taught artist. he quickly gave up studying painting, he preferred to draw caricatures. when his older friend Olaf Gulbransson moved to Germany in 1902, Blix followed him as a cartoonist for the Tyrihans newspaper. an inheritance enabled him to travel through Europe in 1903. from 1904-08 he stayed in Paris and worked for the satirical magazine L’Assiette au Beurre, among others. In 1907 a first drawing in Simplicissimus appeared and in 1908 Blix moved to Munich, publication city of the satirical magazine Simplicissimus, where he lived until 1918. after a short stopover in Oslo, where he founded the magazine Exlex (bird-free) in february 1919 based on the model of Simplicissimus, he moved with it to Copenhagen only nine months later, where he spent the rest of his life. after two years, however, Blix had to give up the magazine again. from then on he worked for various Scandinavian newspapers and magazines. after the occupation of Denmark by Germany during the Second World War, Blix fled to Sweden, where he was able to continue working. after the war he returned to Denmark.
between 1907 and 1925 Blix published 466 drawings in Simplicissimus. Two contributions appeared in the Munich youth. Blix was internationally active, published for example in the New York Times and in Swedish newspapers.
his drawings were initially characterized by a combination of line and surface, as is typical of the art of Jugendstil. However, as early as 1908, he took up Gulbransson’s clear line drawing, which he was in no way inferior to in his ability to characterize contemporary politicians. in the 1930s, biting anti-Hitler caricatures were created and even in Swedish exile he was able to expose leading Nazi politicians under the pseudonym Stig Höök.
( from german wikipedia )
see as well my earlier post

JOE GRANT, who had the complete edition of the german magazine SIMPLICISSIMUS in big volumes in his house, was the first to introduce me to BLIX. in the beginning I was more in favor of GULBRANSSON’S style and characters, and we had discussions about the two artists. joe preferred BLIX, and now after so many years I understand why. you can judge yourself, today with some of BLIX work, tomorrow GULBRANSSON will follow. whoever might be your favorite, I think everybody can get a lot of inspiration out of the two absolute masters of caricature.

© simplicissimus, blix

olaf gulbransson 2

17 08 2011

more from OLAF GULBRANSSON and the SIMPLICISSIMUS, all reproduced some years ago from JOE GRANT’S amazing collection.

© olaf gulbransson

olaf gulbransson 1

11 08 2011

recently I found this interesting article in a german magazine from the mid-fifties. it features caricatures created by OLAF LEONARD GULBRANSSON, 1873 – 1958, together with some rare photos of the master in his typical ‘work-outfit’. GULBRANSSON was born in norway but lived after his studies in paris in munic, germany. besides being professor at the art academy in munic he worked for the satirical magazine SIMPLICISSIMUS and contributed numerous caricatures. I will have some more of his work in one of my next posts.

© gulbransson


24 09 2010

the following caricatures are from several issues of the german SIMPLICISSIMUS magazine during the year 1912. JOE GRANT, who owned a large collection of this political publication, allowed me to make copies. his favorite artist was next to OLAF GULBRANSSONRAGNVALD BLIX. BLIX, 1882 – 1958, was a norwegian national who lived most of his life abroad. he was a completely self-taught artist and some critics said, he was the greatest character analyst among cartoonists in his time. after a big success in paris with the magazine LE JOURNAL blix was firmly associated with SIMPLICISSIMUS in munich from 1908 to 1918. there blix was able to meet the radical political elite, the brothers THOMAS and HEINRICH MANN, HERMANN HESSE, FRANK WEDEKIND, LUDWIG THOMA, THOMAS THEODOR HEINE and OLAF GULBRANSSON. in his caricatures blix was considerably sharper in edge than the more consillatory gulbransson.

© blix / simplizissimus


18 09 2008

compare the three recreated BG’s, they are all from disney productions. the first from the 1939 short PRACTICAL PIG, then 1942 BAMBI and the last 1953 PETER PAN. they all had different designers at their time, PRACTICAL PIG was heavily influenced by the children book style and their artists. like GUSTAVE TENGGREN who worked in the studio at that time designing characters and key-moments for SNOW WHITE and PINOCCHIO. but the influence came as well from earlier children book artists like ARTHUR RACKHAM, EDMUND DULAC and KAY NIELSEN, who worked shortly in the studio on FANTASIA. BAMBI finally was styled by a chinese/american artist TYRUS WONG, who worked in the studio as background painter. you can clearly see the chinese art influence, the simpicity and balance in his designs and in the final film. additional inspiration came from the german romantic painters, like LUDWIG RICHTER.
about a decade passed until PETER PAN was released, styled by legendary designer MARY BLAIR. she was married to LEE BLAIR ( brother of famous animator PRESTON BLAIR ) and both were well connected to the american painter scene, especially watercolor artists. LEE was a famous artist himself and you can see the influence of the art at that time in MARY BLAIR’S paintings. she herself influenced a lot of later artists, even today.
I know from JOE GRANT that a lot of the leading disney talent during those years had contacts to the art scene, JOE had friends in europe, especially germany. he showed me his collection of the first edition of the german political magazine SIMPLICISSIMUS from 1890 on. no wonder that one of the magazin’s famous artists HEINRICH KLEY became such a big influence for the character design at disney in those days. besides NIELSEN and TENGGREN there were the PROVENSENS, amazing children book illustrators and ALBERT HURTER, a swiss illustrator, who all worked under JOE GRANT’S guidance in a CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT at disney. it was more than that, it developed future feature film concepts and styles.

© disney enterprises, inc

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