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Belligerents and Participants
Fritz Quidenus was a Czech artist who moved to Munich in 1891 where he joined the Association of German Illustrators. While his paintings revolved around romantic themes, most of his designs for postcards involved beer halls, steins, and drinking. An exception to this came during World War One when he designed postcards that depicted the German Army.
Max Rabes Was a very well known Orientalist painter before the Great War who had accompanied the German Emperor Wilhelm II on his visit to the Middle East. Rabes served in the War as an official artist where he produced over a thousand works of art capturing his experiences. These range from contemplative portraits of soldiers to dramatic battle scenes. Many of these scenes were later reproduced on postcards. They have a slightly sketchy in appearance, which often gives them the feeling of onsite reporting.
Philipp Reclam of Leipzig used a number of different artists to illustrate his monochrome postcards. They all have a uniform look and are characterized by deep rich tones and white borders. These cards cover battle scenes to more quiet moments.
The German Red Cross was a prolific publisher of artist signed charity cards. For the most part they chose to use highly stylized imagery that usually depicts their workers in the field. They used a number of different publishers to produced their cards.
Arthur Rehn & Co. was a fine art publisher that produced many holiday and artist signed cards in their Modern Master series. During the First World War they picked up on military themes depicting the ground and naval war as well as propaganda.
Reichhold & Lang of Munich was a printer of fine lithographic products, best known for their Advent calendars that counted down the days until Christmas. They produced high quality military oriented holiday cards during World War One.
After Xaver Rief graduated from the Munich Academy of Fine Arts in 1863, he moved to Regensburg where he learned the art of lithography. In 1868 he opened his own lithographic printshop. Although Rief died in 1900, his son Xaver Rief, Jr. took over the management of the firm. He was still printing in color lithography during World War One. He issued a fine set of fieldpost cards illustrated by Franz Luger that were based upon sketches made at the front. Most of these cards depict the devastated landscape of Flanders and northern France.
Paul Rieth was known as a painter of high society. He also contributed illustrations to G. Hirth’s magazine Jugend, which in turn reproduced this work on postcards. During World War One the cards he illustrated took on military themes. They often carry dramatic lighting and bold compositions.
Wilhelm Roegge the younger was a well known painter who captured small intimate encounters between people on the street or in interiors in an academic style. He applied this same sensibility to the military themed paintings he created during the Great War. Some of these were reproduced on postcards by Fritz W. Egger in Munich.
Alfred Roloff was a prolific and well known illustrator, particularly of cheep novels. His paintings of horses also brought him some acclaim. He illustrated many charity cards for the German Red Cross during World War One that featured scenes from both the Western and Eastern Fronts. He is one of the few artists who continued to produce military illustrations during the revolution of 1919.
Rommler & Jonas were photographers from Dresden that not only sold cabinet cards and stereo-views of their work, they began printing many of their landscapes as collotypes. By the 1890’s they were printing Gruss aus cards followed by many ordinary black & white view-cards. Eventually their range expanded to include humor, women, and other types of artist signed cards in tricolor lithography. They also produced a number of military themed posters and propaganda postcards during the First World War.
Though Rotophot of Berlin is best known as a producer of hand colored real photo cards of actresses, they produced a number of printed fieldpost cards during World War One. A monochrome set drawn by Ernst Land depicts the empty ruins of French towns. Ruins were a popular subject for German fieldpost cards but they are usually photo-based.
Josef Andreas Sailer was a Munich based painter who concentrated on pastoral landscapes while working at the Dachau art colony. He produced a number of wartime sketches from the Austro-Hungarian front in 1916. These were then turned into more finished color illustrations for the art postcards published by Hans Kohler & Co. in Munich.
Cities such as Berlin, Munich, and Dresden had been important centers of modern art before the Great War, but what we now look at as important avant-garde trends, rarely filtered down into popular commercial art as that used on postcards. There were however exceptions such as the artist Luk Sauer, whose highly stylized graphic illustrations were very unusual for the day. Though the simplicity of some of these pictures produce bold compositions, they make other postcards difficult to read.
Wilhelm Sauter enlisted in the German Army at the outbreak of World War One. He was wounded and lost partial hearing at the battle of the Somme. In the postwar years his military illustrations based on personal experiences in the trenches were placed on continental sized postcards by the publisher by C. Ohier. While often heroic in nature, they do not hide the grit of the battlefield. Sauter would also illustrate cards with scenes from World War Two.
Schaar & Dathe of Trier published many military postcards. They produced a large color set early in the War depicting non-combat scenes from the Western Front. While some show dead horses in streams, others depict rather benign Germans cooking in camp. Most of these cards depict ruins, but here the destruction of property is presented as the natural outcome of war without any overlying moralization. They also produced another photo-based set of ruins printed in monotone, but these may have been produced after the War.
The Cologne firm of M. DuMont Schauberg dates back to the early 17th century and they remain one of Germany’s oldest publishers. Primarily know for newspaper and book publishing, they also produced military themed posters and postcards during World War One in chromolithography.
Franz Scheiner of Wurzburg was a well known publisher of children’s books before the Great War. The firm used these skills to produce fine artist drawn chromolithographic fieldpost cards depicting German soldiers in benign situations.
Franz Schelner of Wursburg published unique military postcards in dutone. Their fine line drawing and bright rusty coloration make them an eye catching set. Some of their cards were slightly oversized.
Otto Schloss of Berlin was a large printing and publishing house that produced chromolithographic greeting cards, comic cards, and art reproductions. They took up printing cards with military themes during the Great War.
Ernst Schmidt & Co. of Lubek was known for their printed and real photo view-cards. They produced military themed artist drawn cards during World War One.
The untimely death of Herbert Schnurpel’s father prevented him from attending the Berlin Academy, but he taught himself to draw while serving in the German army for the full duration of World War One. He eventually settled down in Liegnitz, Silesia where he became a painter of patriotic themes and military history. His work came to be appreciated by the Nazis who exhibited his painting in the German House of Art. While working as a war artist during World War Two, some of his earlier paintings depicting scenes from the Great War were reproduced on continental sized postcards.
Wilhelm Schulz was a graphic artist working in Berlin. While he designed a number of posters, he is best known for the satyrical illustrations he provided to the magazine Simplicissimus. During World War One he produced patriotic pieces that were placed on postcards. While he is not a classic Art Nouveau artist, he borrowed from it to give his work a more playful lyrical look.
Schwarmstadt was a painter and graphic artist who produced a variety of work from Christmas cards to posters for steamship lines. During World War One many of his gouaches depicting scenes at the front lines were reproduced as postcards on photo paper by E.P. & Co.
After the Berlin firm of E. A. Schwerdtfeger & Co. was founded in the 1890’s, it became one of the largest producers of real photo postcards on bromide paper, many of which were hand colored. They predominantly dealt with pictures of actresses, children, fashionable women, and holiday cards, but during World War One they produced a number of military themed postcards through tricolor printing.
Although the Nuremberg printing house of Serz & Co. dates back to the 1830’s, they seem to have only begun publishing postcards around 1906 when they were already very popular. Most of their output was of greeting cards, but they began producing artist drawn patriotic cards as soon as the Great War began.
Simhart & Co. of Munich published artist signed military cards in lithography during World War One. Artists such as Angelo Jank and J. Betz produced very stylized illustrations for them.
Simplicissimus was a weekly satirical magazine begun by Albert Langen in Munich. This publication held a large number of modern style illustrations that were noted for their strong visual presence as well as showing scenes from non-idealized daily life. Artists such as George Grosz and Kathe Kollwitz provided work for them. They also published hand colored lithographic postcards of some of their illustrations. Their irreverent stance on many issues caused some of the magazine’s editors, writers, and cartoonists to be imprisoned over the years. After the outbreak of World War One they dropped their criticism of the German government and became very supportive of the military. During this time they produced many propaganda postcards that ranged from political cartoons to patriotic scenes of the home front.
Albert Singer was a Bavarian artist well known for his landscapes and hunting scenes. As time went on he seems to have become more interested in painting dramatic scenes of mountain landscapes often only inhabited by wild animals. During World War One he captured scenes of Alpine fighting that were placed on charity cards produced by the Saxon publisher J. Wirth in Dessau.
The German Society for Christian Art (Deutsche Gesellschaft für christliche Kunst e.V.) was founded in Munich in 1893 in order to encourage a creative exchange of ideas between artists, theologists, philosophers and art lovers. This was in part accomplished through their support of artists and the promotion of exhibitions in which postcards came to play a role. During the First World War they issued cards in fine rotogravure featuring the military themed work in their exhibitions.
Otto Soltau worked as a painter and illustrator creating a diverse body of work from symbolist compositions to botanical drawings. His interest in portraiture led him to sketch soldiers and sailors while serving as a lieutenant in the German army during World War One. Some of these were published on postcards by Breiner & Pfeiffer of Stuttgart before his death on the Eastern Front in early 1915.
Curt Shultz Steglitz was a prolific illustrator of World War One cards. Though many of his images capture intense close action combat, the scenes are usually assigned to specific battles. Many of these were reproduced with white borders on cards by C.K. in Berlin. Others printed as bleeds can be found on charity cards. While all his images are printed in monochrome, the same picture was often issued in different colors.
Though the name Stengel & Co. of Dresden is nearly synonymous with fine chromolithographic art reproductions, they produced a variety of postcard types. During World War One they continued to reproduce artwork for military and propaganda cards, but these were produced by more economical printing methods.