This last one was published less than a week after the Nazi seizure of power, with Hitler appointed the Chancellorship by President von Hindenburg. The illustration refers to ‘Hermann’ in the Teutoburg forest, which is a monument to Arminius, a 1st century Germanic chieftan, who helped to win a famous victory over the Romans in 9AD. The monument was made in 1875, and served as a focal point for the Nazi’s. The artist has depicted Hitler in place of Arminius, who is seen to have achieved a greater feat, by winning a hugely symbolic, if not numerically impressive election victory in the area (Lippe Detmold) that the statue is situated. Goebbels wrote in his diary after a visit to the monument on 12th January “Here we will again win a battle and will then proceed to a new offensive and continue to win victory upon victory. We have overcome our stagnation. Final victory lies ahead.” After January 15th 1933, following the election victory, the Nazis were in a greater position to exert pressure on the cabinet and the President to appoint Hitler as Chancellor. Not long after this publication, apparently the offices of Simplicissimus were visited by stormtroopers, and there were no more critical cartoons of Hitler to appear in the magazine.
The Chaldean Account of Genesis (1872) was written by George Smith, who translated the original tablets. The story makes up part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and describes the Great Flood a good while before it is believed the Book of Genesis was written. Some of the images are from sculptures in the British Museum.
The Tokaido is one of a number of roads linking Edo with the rest of Japan. It runs along the Pacific coast to Kyoto. The ’53 stations’ are resting points along the way. In 1832 the artist Utagawa Hiroshige began the first of a number of print series, which depicted the resting points, and these became very popular in Japan (one series becoming apparently the best selling ‘ukiyo-e‘ of all time). The prints in this post are by a different artist, Utagawa Yoshishige, and depict a series of actual potted landscapes (saikei and bonkei) made by a man called Kimura Tōsen. So these prints are based on small sculptures, which were inspired by prints, which were inspired by a walk, made possible by a road. You can see all 53 of the prints and the book here.
I have self-published a new art zine called ‘Self Ish’ – there are some great artists involved (and a writer and a chef). You can buy a copy from my website for £3! Featuring Andrew Cattanach / Rabiya Choudhry / Kim Coleman / Craig Coulthard / Joseph Curran / Peter Donaldson / Ruth Ewan / Alec Finlay / Tommy Grace / Jenny Hogarth / Michael Innes / Tessa Lynch / Rachel Maclean / Haroon Mirza / Kate Owens / Ross Sinclair / Rob St John / Edward Summerton