Pr H. W. Singer Drawings of A. Von Menzel

ISBN 13: 9781628452457

Drawings of A. Von Menzel

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9781628452457: Drawings of A. Von Menzel

Drawings of A. Von Menzel
By Pr. HW Singer

Excerpt

FOR two or three decades Menzel was a member of the Institut de France and an Officer of the Legion of Honour, as well as a member of the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours and the Royal Academy of London. Yet, outside his own country, he was scarcely more than a name, except, perhaps, to the presidents and leading officers of such bodies as I have mentioned. Not long ago I found a French critic attempting to expound Menzel to his countrymen, and he had so far misapprehended his hero that he tried to make him out a sort of excellent German Meissonier. In England, too, he may be put on a line with the League of Cambrai, the Peace of Munster, the Cabal, and other such names, which you at once recognise as very important when you hear them mentioned, but about which you cannot for the life of you remember details and dates. Almost ninety years ago, upon the 8th of December, 1815, Menzel saw the light of day in Breslau. This city was for a long time the third largest of the German Empire, without any attractions to match its size.

Menzel's father, originally principal of a girls' seminary, set up a lithographic establishment, in which the lad at an early age found an opportunity of coming into touch with the fine arts. His parents decreed that he should become a scholar, but there were many hindrances in the way of his turning student; and since he had evinced a desire to draw as soon as ever he could hold a pencil, it was easy to prepare him for the work of a practitioner in the lesser arts, if not indeed for an artist.

When Menzel was fourteen years of age his father sold his business at Breslau and migrated to Berlin. Here, too, he occupied himself with lithographic work, in which he was assisted by his son. The family had scarcely been a year and a half in the capital when the father died — in January, 1832. Menzel, only sixteen years of age, was now thrown entirely upon his own resources, and, moreover, had to help towards the support of his nearest relatives. For the sake of a living he executed vignettes for tradesmen's bills, letter-headings, designs for stencils, bottle-labels and similar hack-work, and a long period of privation and plodding began for him.

What he did at that time gave indication of what there was in the man. For where another would simply have satisfied the crude demands of the trade, he strove conscientiously to do his best and to give his customers more than their money's worth. Many of his early invitation and congratulatory cards, title pages and ephemeral designs are full of happy notions and clever allusions. Instinctively he felt that black-and-white art is a medium that lends itself to argument and...------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Windham Press is committed to bringing the lost cultural heritage of ages past into the 21st century through high-quality reproductions of original, classic printed works at affordable prices.

This book has been carefully crafted to utilize the original images of antique books rather than error-prone OCR text. This also preserves the work of the original typesetters of these classics, unknown craftsmen who laid out the text, often by hand, of each and every page you will read. Their subtle art involving judgment and interaction with the text is in many ways superior and more human than the mechanical methods utilized today, and gave each book a unique, hand-crafted feel in its text that connected the reader organically to the art of bindery and book-making.

We think these benefits are worth the occasional imperfection resulting from the age of these books at the time of scanning, and their vintage feel provides a connection to the past that goes beyond the mere words of the text.

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