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Belligerents and Participants
Rudolf Kargl was primarily a popular painter of Alpine landscapes. His drawings had long been used on postcards, and during World War One He illustrated charity cards for the Austrian Red Cross and a distinct set that covered the Italian and Ottoman fronts for the Austrian War-Welfare Office.
Anton Hans Karlinsky worked primarily as a landscape painter, often capturing scenes of rural life. Although the style of his paintings were rather simple and academic, his graphic work was far more bold. His drawings were used on propaganda cards during World War one to raise money for war bonds.
While Adolf Karpellus was a rather academic painter, his graphic design work for posters and postcards showed a clear influence of modernist trends in art. Though he came from a military family, this did not seem to influence his work until the outbreak of World War One; but even here he became a prolific producer of propaganda rather than more typical battle scenes. Hw would die in Vienna soon after the War ended.
Kilophot was a Viennese printer known for their artist drawn cards. They produced cards of all Austro-Hungarian fronts though those depicting fighting with the Russians seem the most common. They are prone to capture quiet moments more than fighting in a very realistic style.
After Alexander Kircher’s ambition to become a naval officer was thwarted by a foot injury, he decided to take up marine painting and moved to Berlin to study at the Academy. By 1904 he settle down in Dresden where he found work creating marine illustrations for magazines and chromolithographic posters. He became a favorite of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungry and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany who not only promoted his work, they provided him access to the shops of each empire’s navy. A number of his illustrations wound up on postcards published by Philipp & Kramer, Raphael Tuck & Sons, Gothenburg Lithographic, and Meyer & Koster. During World War One he provided illustrations for the charity cards of the Austrian Red Cross, The War Welfare Office, and the War Aid Office.
Ludwig Knoefel was a well known illustrator of glamour portraits, many of which found their way onto postcards. His tendency to employ dramatic lighting effects with a sharp clear style makes most of his very distinct. During the Great War, many of the illustrations he produced for the Viennese publisher Max Munk retained this same style, only now they usually displayed children dressed as soldiers. A number of these were issued as Christmas postcards.
Before the War Ludwig Koch was a respected painter, sculptor, and illustrator of equestrian and historical scenes. In 1909 his watercolors were used for stylized chromolithographic depictions of soldiers on postcards. A more realistic set of soldiers were depicted on tricolor cards in 1910. Many of these cards from both sets were used during World War One, with some overprinted with Christmas and New Years greetings on their backs. Koch moved to the United States after the War where his work was not well received and he faded into obscurity.
Franz Kuderna was a painter and illustrator who produced a number of pictures for charity cards during World War One. These images tend to be both narrative and sentimental, dealing with separation of the soldier from home.
Ernst Kutzer was a Czech who moved to Vienna in 1899 to study art. By 1910 he was working as a children’s book illustrator, which became his primary career. During World War One he worked as a military artist and began to design charity postcards. Only a small portion of these postcards carry military themes.
Theo Matejko was a prolific Hungarian illustrator who produced many works for books and magazines primarily in charcoal. Many of his military illustrations wound up on postcards during the First World War, especially by E.P. & Co. He would return to producing war imagery during World War Two as a war corespondent for the army journal Die Wehrmacht.
Fritz Neuman was primarily a painter of military subjects with a strong preference for equestrian scenes and Cossacks. He illustrated postcards that captured scenes from the Balkan Front during the Great War.
The Viennese painter, Franz Poledne is best known for his encompassing cityscapes. During World War One he turned his talents to designing charity cards for the National Association for Austria.
Perhaps the single largest producer of military subjects was the Austrian Red Cross, who was responsible for hundreds of different images on their charity cards. A a variety of artists were used to illustrate them, each producing a large series. These cards seem to have been printed in large quantities, though some cards are now much harder to find than others. For an aid organization they produced a high proportion of cards displaying savage combat scenes. While this violence can be dismissed as nothing but a strategy to enhance sales and thus raise more money, it may have also provided an outlet for hatred against their enemies without resorting to blatant propaganda messages. Some of this can also be seen in combat scenes where the Russians, who badly mangled the Austrian army, are always shown in constant flight before the victorious Austrian troops. What must also be considered was that the neutral stance of the Red Cross was not well respected. They may have caused a tendency to show images of victorious Austrian soldiers to avoid being seen as sympathetic to the enemy.
Carl Fahringer traveled extensively to far off lands such as Africa and Indonesia from which he drew much inspiration. While he captured many local scenes, he became best known as a painter and illustrator of exotic animals. His style was somewhat impressionistic but he tended to work with a low key palette. At the outbreak of the Balkan War in 1912, Fahringer turned his attention to becoming a war artist. He continued this work throughout World War One capturing scenes on the Eastern and Italian Fronts. Many of his images were published by Bruder Kohn or placed on charity postcards for the Austrian Red Cross.
Franz Xaver Jung was a popular artist who supplied paintings for the Austrian defense Ministry, which in turn were reproduced on combat oriented card for the Austrian Red Cross. Most of his compositions revolve around small personal narratives rather than epic battles, but they are still tend to capture violence or impending danger.
Anton Marussig was a noted landscape and portrait painter who provided many illustrations for Austrian Red Cross cards. His tendency to represent battles through small groupings of men brings the conflict down to a very personal scale. Most of his compositions are highly animated.
Karl Pippich was primarily a landscape artist who worked in oils and watercolor. Intrigued with the changes the turn of the century brought, he spent much of his time capturing the modern street life of Vienna. He was also interested in military subjects and would paint images of the army while out on maneuver. He continued to produce military paintings during the Great War, though many of these have more patriotic overtones. Many of his pictures were placed on postcards.
Karl Ludwig Prinz was a painter who supplied many images for Austrian Red Cross cards. He can probably be considered the most subtle painter of the War. At first glance his pictures appear as pastoral landscapes but on closer examination they are gently infused with strings of barbed wire that wind across a hillside or military wagons that have come to a rest on a distant village street. He also illustrated scenes of places with military significance but devoid of any sign of conflict. He worked on different fronts but seemed to prefer mountain landscapes.
Emil Ranzenhofer was a very successful painter and commercial artist well known for his Art Nouveau advertising posters. He also took much interest in documenting Jewish life in Vienna. During World War One he became an official war artist creating propaganda posters and charity postcards for the Austrian Red Cross. Many of the scenes he depicted seem to capture the dramatic fighting in the Caucasus. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Imperial Franz Joseph Order for his artistic battle against the enemy.
Anton Reckziegel was a landscape painter most noted for his Alpine landscapes. He designed many travel posters that captured this extreme terrain. During World War One he illustrated military cards for Josef Eberle in Vienna.
Rotophot, which opened in Berlin at the turn of the 20th century became known for their seemingly endless supply of real photo postcards capturing actresses. Their success brought them to open new offices in London, Budapest, and Vienna. During the Great War, the Vienna branch, Wiener Rotophot began producing black & white printed postcards of the Austro-Hungarian campaign against Serbia.
Franz Roubal was a Viennese landscape and animal painter who is probably best known for his commissions from the Natural History museum in Mainz. During the Great War he supplied the Austrian Red Cross with many illustrations for their charitable cards.
There were other charity cards as well such as the very large series that the Red Cross produced in conjunction with the Austrian Ministry of the Interior. These artist drawn cards were printed in monotone, and capture a wide variety of subjects. There compositions often suffer from being reproduced on such a small scale.
Christoph Reisser’s Sons was a noted art printer in Vienna that produced books, posters, and postcards. During World War One they printed artist signed regimental fieldpost cards.
Nicol Schattenstein was a Lithuanian born painter who moved to Berlin in 1906 to further his career as a portrait painter. He then moved to Vienna where he became well known for his portraits of the famous. He contributed images of soldiers in simple situations for Austrian Red Cross cards during World War One.
Egon Schiele work primarily as an expressionist painter, but his work was imbued with a highly nervous graphic style derived from Jungendstil. Though he had a heart problem, he was eventually called up for service in the Austrian Army during World War One. He tried to secure a position as an official war artist but his first duties were as a guard escorting Russian prisoners. Later he became a clerk at a prisoner of war camp where he made numerous drawings of the Russian captives. These images, which were placed on postcards, tend to capture individual personalities rather than a stereotype of the enemy. While Schiele escaped military service unscathed, he succumbed to the great influenza outbreak in the fall of 1918.
Karl Maria Schuster was an academic painter who became a member of the Vienna Künstlerhaus at the turn of the 20th century. Though primarily known for his panoramic landscapes and figure painting, he worked as a war artist during the Great War capturing more intimate moments of soldier’s lives. A number of his images were used on charity postcards for the Austrian Red Cross.
The Stolz brothers, Ignaz, Rudolf and Albert were all artists who received their first training at the hands of the father in Bolzano. They in turn had a huge influence on the art scene in South Tyrol. Ignaz Stolz produced work for charity cards issued by the welfare office in Bolzano during the First World War.
Roland Strasser, who is now famous for his paintings of people in exotic settings launched his career as a war artist soon after studying with Angelo Jank at the Munich Academy. While he made many drawings while stationed on the front lines, he is better known for the large scale paintings made after the War ended. These works are carefully composed to enhance their symbolic power. They seem to have only been reproduced on postcards after Vienna’s Museum of Military History began exhibiting fine art in the 1920’s.
Oscar Stossel was a painter and an etcher who created a number of military themed pieces during World War One. They were reproduced on charity cards by the noted Viennese printers, C. Angerer & Goschl.
Georg Wagrandl was a fine arts publisher and printer in Vienna that produced a number of military related postcards during World War One. These artist drawn scenes printed in color lithography range from battle scenes to holiday greetings. Their titles can be in either German or Hungarian.
Though born and schooled in Leipzig, Karl Alex Wilke moved to Vienna in 1903 where he worked as a painter and illustrator. There he found steady work supplying cartoons for the satirical magazines, Der Sherer and Die Muskete. While he was a member of the art association Der Hagenbund, his interests began to shift toward the theater, and he found work as a designer for the Vienna Burgtheater just before World War One began. He continued to work as an illustrator during the war years providing Die Muskete with political cartoons and scenes of soldier life in the trenches, which were also published by them as postcards. The German School Association also placed a number of Wilke’s military illustrations on their cards.
Fritz Zerritsch, son of the sculpture by the same name, was primarily a landscape and animal painter, though he often did more commercial work in tapestry, illustration and ceramics. He joined the Vienna Künstlerhaus in 1914 but his attention was soon focused on the War. His interest in animals led him led him to create studies of cavalrymen that were place on postcards by W.R.B. & Co. in Vienna.
An extremely large number of charity cards were produced as part of the Zum Gloria-Victoria-Album. Issued in a number of different sets as the war progressed, it was meant to be a documentary history that would specifically appeal to collectors while supporting the Austrian War Aid office. Very few of these cards found today are postmarked. Many show dramatic artist depictions of battle, but most cover scenes behind the battle front as well as military equipment. While most of these cards are artist drawn, there are a few photo-based examples within the series that were printed in black & white.