Table of Contents:
Cover of Jugend Magazine, 1916, No 1
The movement was strongly supported by Munchner Jugend an art magazine which extensively employed the graphic designs and illustrations of the Jugendstil movement, including black and white and tinted illustrations, hand lettering and even architectural and furniture design in many ways similar to the traditions of the Arts and Crafts movement. Jugend was established by Georg Hirth, a real Renaissance man and one of the foremost intellectuals in Munich whose books such as Aufgaben der Kunstphysiologie (Responsibilities of Art Physiology) in 1891 were influential in the development of German creative art during the turn of the century.
For twenty years, until his death, Hirth was Jugend's editor in chief. The first major artist that joined Jugend was Emil Hansen, later known as Emil Nolde. Hansen who had been teaching decorative design in St. Gall since January 1892 met Georg Hirth in 1895, and began to work as one of the main illustrators for the magazine.
German-Danish painter and print maker, Emil Hansen was born in small village whose name he took as his own in 1902. He came from a family of peasants, and his simple and rural origin at the extreme north of Germany close to the Danish border, influenced his work. He was connected with land, and its folk culture, which was half pagan half protestant. He was one of the most powerful exponents of Expressionism. Although he was a member of the Die Brucke group of expressionist painters, he remained a relatively isolated figure, due to his temperament and circumstances. His unique contribution to 20th century German Expressionism lies in the intense emotion of his radically simplified - sometimes grotesquely distorted - drawings, and vivid colours. At the same time he was one of the greatest watercolourist painters of flowers. His most famous works include The Prophet He loved ancient Germanic legends, and he used them in his works.
Children of the Woods, 1911
Tingel, Tangel II. 1907
Der Pflüger. 1911.
Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), a contemporary of Darwin, was a physician, anatomist, zoologist, naturalist, biologist and last but not least a master visual communicator. Haeckel studied under Carl Gegenbaur at the University of Jena for three years, earning a doctorate in zoology, before becoming a professor of comparative anatomy at the University of Jena, where he remained 47 years, from 1862-1909. Between 1859 and 1866, Haeckel worked on many invertebrate groups, including radiolarians, poriferans (sponges) and annelids (segmented worms).
During a trip to the Mediterranean, Haeckel named nearly 150 new species of radiolarians.Influenced by the German Romantic Movement, his pursuits included a medical doctorate, professorship of zoology, studies in biology, taxonomy, lecturer, and painting. Although Haeckel's ideas are important to the history of evolutionary theory, and he was a competent invertebrate anatomist most famous for his work on radiolaria, many speculative concepts that he championed are now considered incorrect. For example, Haeckel described and named hypothetical ancestral microorganisms that have never been found.
However, not all of Haeckel's speculations were incorrect, when Darwin first published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859), no remains of human ancestors had yet been found, but Haeckel postulated that evidence of human evolution would be found in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), and described these theoretical remains in great detail. He even named the as-of-yet unfound species, Pithecanthropus alalus, and charged his students to go find it. One student did find the remains: a young Dutchman named Eugene Dubois went to the East Indies and dug up the remains of Java Man, the first human ancestral remains ever found. These remains originally carried Haeckel's Pithecanthropus label, though they were later reclassified as Homo erectus.
Darwin’s 1859 book On the Origin of Species had immense popular influence, but although its sales exceeded the publisher's expectations, it was a long and difficult technical book with few illustrations. Haeckel's Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, published in Berlin in 1868, and translated into English as The History of Creation in 1876, was frequently reprinted until 1926. did a great deal to explain his version of "Darwinism" to the world. His next book Kunstformen der Natur. Art Forms of Nature, originally published in two volumes, in sets of ten between 1899 and 1904 consists of 100 lithographic and autotype prints of various organisms, many of which were first described by Haeckel himself. Olaf Breidbach,the editor of modern editions of Kunstformen, has suggested that
(Art Forms of Nature) was not just a book of illustrations but also the summation of his view of the world.
The over-riding themes of the Kunstformen plates are symmetry and organization. The subjects were selected to embody organization, from the scale patterns of boxfishes to the spirals of ammonites to the perfect symmetries of jellies and microorganisms, while images composing each plate are arranged for maximum visual impact.
Kunstformen der Natur became very influential in early 20th century art, architecture, and design. In particular, many artists associated with Art Nouveau were influenced by Haeckel's images, including René Binet, Karl Blossfeldt, Hans Christiansen, and Émile Gallé. One prominent example is the Amsterdam Commodities Exchange designed by Hendrik Petrus Berlage, which was in part inspired by Kunstformen illustrations.
Hans Christiansen is considered one of the key figures in German Jugendstil. His artistic vision and bold creativity had a significant influence on the German graphic design. Christiansen worked as decorative painter apprentice in Flensburg during the 1881-85 period, and then joined a decoration firm in Hamburg for the next two years. in 1887, he went to Munich to study, and two years later traveled to Italy to expandhis artistic horizon. After his return he began to teach at a technical college in Hamburg. He was also workind as a freelance decorative painter and was actively involved in promoting the "Volkskunst-Verein", with the aim to reform the German graphic design in accordance with the achievements of the British Arts-and-Crafts movement.
He visited Chicago in 1893, where he saw glass works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, that had a great impression on him. Next he moved to Paris, and studied painting at the "Academie Julian" over the 1896-99 period. During this time, he created a number of cover designs for Jugend and became renowned as a great decorative painter during the 1920s.
Cover design for Jugend Magazine, 1896