Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Personal Animals

Aus Tier- und Menschenleben (cover)

bull and 2 cows dressed as humans

Hipopotamus and Giraffe

male and female cats

donkey and goat

married goats sitting

chickens as humans fighting

injured tiger and goat sitting in chairs

pig, cat and lion out walking

If the scant information online is correct, then Käthe Schönberger from Austria was 15 years old when she produced the illustrations for 'Aus Thier und Menschenleben' ('From Animal and Human Lives') in 1896. The personification of animals theme is very reminiscent of JJ Grandville's work (see particularly the uniformed chickens fighting). She picked a fine mentor, if so. The facial expressions and demeanour displayed above are really quite sophisticated at times.

I understand Käthe Olshausen-Schönberger (as she came to be called) died in 1967. There are other books around at commercial sites but they were all in German and I didn't pay much attention while searching for images.

  • A single print (1915) on ebay.
  • Olshausen-Schönberger is known to have produced work for the german illustration magazine 'Ulk' - Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg have digitized copies but I didn't go through looking for her illustrations.
  • A film poster at the Austrian National Library.

    harlequinpan said...

    It's great!
    Thank you for sharing these.

    Anonymous said...

    These are very interesting. But, I always wondered why humans have the desire to dress animals in people's clothing....

    goulo-goulo said...

    Fantastic! My favourite theme! These illustrations are psychologically stunning!

    MikeO said...

    A wonderful self-description of this artist's, Käthe Olshausen-Schönberger's, work appeared in "Contemporary Illustrators of Children's Books" by Bertha Mahony and Elinor Whitney, published by The Bookshop for Boys and Girls in 1930.

    peacay said...

    Thanks Mike. Looks like there are a few copies around.

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