Many years ago, I discovered the turn-of-the-last-century German magazine Simplicissimus. While I couldn’t read German, I immediately fell in love with the drawings. I have always loved the approach to art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Simplicissimus delivered. My original writings about the magazine were lost when I purged my website years ago, but I mentioned Simplicissimus a little here.
However, more famous than Simplicissimus and founded the same year, 1896, was Jugend. Basically, Jugend was Germany’s art nouveau magazine, showcasing a style of art that was, at that time, completely fresh. The magazine featured art by Otto Eckman, Heinrich Kley, and Bruno Paul, along with many others. Many of the artists didn’t become internationally famous, but the artwork in the magazine is consistently stunning. At least in the early decades.
Jugend lasted a long time. However, it changed over the years and lost its liberal avant-garde nature. It started to lose popularity during the First World War. Then, the original editor, George Hirth, died in 1916. In its final years, 1933-1940, Jugend became a propanganda rag for the Third Reich.
Yet in its early years, Jugend was a force to be reckoned with and was hugely influential.
You can get high quality pdfs of the magazine at Heidelberg University’s archive here (scroll down to see the full list).
But since this is me posting, I want to share some of the sequential pieces from the early issues. So here: