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Little Muck and Caliph Stork

Hegenbarth illustrates Hauff’s fairytale collection “The Caravan”

7 May 2017 to 2 April 2018
An exhibition by the Josef-Hegenbarth-Archiv

These stories are universally known in Germany - Little Muck with his magic slippers that carry him through the air at top speed, and the Caliph who was turned into a stork by means of a magic trick. These two fairytale characters which have been transporting people of all ages into the fascinating world of the Middle East for nearly 200 years were invented by the Romantic author Wilhelm Hauff (1802-1827). His book »Fairytale Almanac of the year 1826, for the Sons and Daughters of the Educated Classes« is a collection of oriental stories set within a frame narrative entitled »The Caravan«.

In order to combat their boredom, travelling salesmen tell each other six stories – as well as the story of Caliph Stork and Little Muck there are also the stories of the Ghost Ship and the Severed Hand, as well as the Rescue of Fatima and the False Prince.

  • Tuschezeichnung von Josef Hegenbarth aus einer Mappe von insgesamt 43 Zeichnungen zur Illustration von Wilhelm Hauffs Märchensammlung „Die Karawane“, um 1942, Copyright:  Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Tuschezeichnung von Josef Hegenbarth aus einer Mappe von insgesamt 43 Zeichnungen zur Illustration von Wilhelm Hauffs Märchensammlung „Die Karawane“, um 1942, Copyright:  Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.

Josef Hegenbarth was also fascinated by Hauff’s Caravan. In the early 1940s the artist dealt intensively with the stories and decided to illustrate them. He explored the themes of the fairytales using two different techniques:  
One group of pen and two-tone brush drawings, which are now held in the Josef Hegenbarth Archive, served as the basis for the first illustrated edition of Hauff’s “Caravan”, published by Reclam-Verlag in Leipzig in 1966. The great popularity of this work, decorated with 16 full page brush drawings and 101 small-format pen drawings, is evident from the many editions and reprints of up to 17,000 copies which were not only published in both East and West Germany but were also made known in Japan by Hegenbarth himself.

Josef Hegenbarth’s second illustrated version, for which he used pen-and-ink drawings, was destined to undergo an adventurous journey. At the end of the Second World War this group of drawings for a book project that was never realised was located in Wriezen in Brandenburg, where it was seized by the Red Army and was taken via Berlin to the Soviet Union, ending up in St Petersburg. When works of art were returned to the GDR in 1958/59, the portfolio containing 43 drawings belonging to Hegenbarth was given to the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett.

After more than 70 years these illustrations have now permanently returned to their place of origin in Loschwitz and invite comparison with the published »Caravan« illustrations. Thus, the exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the work of provenance researchers.