28 April 2010

J. R. Witzel: A Jugend Artist


















This little gallery of illustrations from Jugend Magazine features the work of J. R. Witzel, an artist who is little known in English. Published in the magazine from its very first year, Witzel's work exemplifies the curvilinear aspects of the Art Nouveau style. Whether in humor, charm, or political commentary, Witzel uses the curved line to fill the frame in clever ways.

I discovered Witzel in the image of a woman starled by a shadow couple that invites the viewer to invent a caption or even an entire story. Then found L'Affaiire Dreyfus (the second image here). At the time, in 1896, when this was published, it had just been revealed that the French government had suppressed evidence that exonerated Alfred Dreyfus. Justice is pictured as a woman bound from every angle.
When you look closely at the image of the woman in the pink dress and the little girl, you find faces peering out of the letters that spell Jugend and an attention to detail that never appears fussy.


Images: J. R. Witzel, from the Library of the Univeristy of Heidelberg, Germany.

11 comments:

femminismo said...

What a perfectly lovely mother's day picture that last one is.

Rouchswalwe said...

These are delightful, Jane! That first one made me smile with its charm and inventiveness.

Jane said...

At first, I was puzzled by the varying level of detail in the images, but after spending some time with them, I think that Witzel was good at giving to each what it needed. The woman's blue dress trails perfectly around the poem, the mother and daughter form a complementary whole. the shadows create a mystery. It would be nice to know about the artist, but the is good enough to hodl its own place.

billyjane said...

ah,i wanted to comment on these series before,i'm also glad to see more Jugend discoveries,since i was also delighted to discover that archive via feuilleton of course;]
here's what i found
http://billyjane.tumblr.com/tagged/jugend
[there's also one Witzel that cought my eye,and i was delighted to discover mr. Fidus,he's my favorite from that whole crew;]
btw.there's one more jugend gallery online,maybe you'll find something of interest there too...
http://www.jugendmagazine.net/gallery/index.php?page=1

Jane said...

Thanks for the information on Jugend. I'd like to find a full gallery of Ver Sacrum somewhere. Their art had a distinctively Viennese style, whereas Jugend was all over the place.

Dwight K.Smith said...

Hello there, You've done a great job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they'll be benefited from this site.
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Robert T.Copper said...

You can definitely see your skills within the paintings you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren't afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.
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jane said...

Dwight, thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm glad you enjoy the articles here.

Jane said...

Robert, thank you. The eyes, the brain, the heart all work together - gifts each of us has and can cultivate.

hagai aviel said...

a bit late but better than not at all: the second image depict the Pythian Oracle of Delphi, on the tripod seat, engulfed by vapors from the Kerna spring waters that flowed under the temple

Jane said...

Not too late at all! Witzel likely expected his audience to get the reference. I'm embarrassed that I didn't as I took a course in ancient Greek religion in college. Thanks so much your clarity, Hagai Aviel.