September 11, 1897
Complete original magazine
Large format 11X15" . This is one of the earliest issues known to exist of this German satirical magazine. There are many artists represented in this issue during the Art Nouveau period. Steinlen back cover; Benefits of drinking and smoking; generally 6-8 full page and half-page prints . ads. Lots of other items. Please check out our listings for Le Rire, La Vie Parisienne and Jugend.
Combining brash and politically daring content, with a bright, immediate, and surprisingly modern graphic style, Simplicissimus published the work of writers such as Thomas Mann and Rainer Maria Rilke. Its most reliable targets for caricature were stiff Prussian military figures, and rigid German social and class distinctions as seen from the more relaxed, liberal atmosphere of Munich. Contributors included Hermann Hesse, Gustav Meyrink, Fanny zu Reventlow, Jakob Wassermann, Frank Wedekind, Heinrich Kley, Alfred Kubin, Otto Nückel, Robert Walser, Heinrich Zille, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Heinrich Mann and Erich Kästner.
Simplicissimus looked very different than other satirical journals published in Germany. It relied heavily on its visual impact and included more cartoons than its rivals. It also experimented with modern graphics and bright colors. The imagery used by the artists at Simplicissimus was based on everyday life whereas older journals such as Kladderadatsch made references to traditional sources such as classical mythology.
Although a supporter of liberal causes, Simplicissimus appeared revolutionary when compared to established journals such as Kladderadatsch. It especially upset the German government by objecting to a law in 1897 that penalized striking workers. It also supported trade unionists in their struggle with employers during this period.
In 1898 Kaiser Wilhelm's objections to being ridiculed on the cover resulted in the magazine being suppressed. Langen, the publisher, spent five years' exile in Switzerland and was fined 30,000 German gold marks. A six-month prison sentence was given to the cartoonist Heine, and seven months to the writer Frank Wedekind. Again in 1906 the editor Ludwig Thoma was imprisoned for six months for attacking the clergy. These controversies only served to increase circulation, which peaked at about 85,000 copies.
Any issues are nearly impossible to find. .
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