The illustrated Adventures of Baron Munchausen
World literature is full of important influential books, but some are still more special than the others. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which inspired thousands of talented authors and paved the way to the specific gene of fantastic story is certainly among those ones which deserve privileged status. They inspired many great illustrators and the intention of this post is to present all available illustrations of Baron Munchausen in public domain. Baron Munchausen was a real person who lived in 18th century. His full name was Carl Friedrich Hieronymus Baron von Munchhausen, he was married twice, his descendants are alive, but everybody will remember him as a master storyteller who’s exaggerating had set new standards in storytelling.
I’ll present several sets of illustrations which were all published before 1923 and/or made by artists who died more than 70 years ago.
This is huge project, so don’t expect everything at once.
Let’s start with Oskar Herrfurth (1862-1934) and his set of themed postcards. Every one presents one of famous scenes from the story of Baron Munchausen.
Pretty nice, huh? More of his works in this romantic and slightly outdated area is available here.
August von Wille (1827-1887) is another artist in long line of vintage German illustrators and painters who couldn’t avoid the theme about Baron Munchausen. For now I can offer only one painting:
Next interesting painter and caricaturist who portrayed the surprising adventures of Mr. Munchausen was Martin Disteli (1802-1842) from Switzerland. This series was published in 1841:
I have found only one illustration by German painter Franz Riepenhausen (1786-1831):
What about Franz Gottfried (1846-1905)? He made some beautiful color illustrations too:
I will end the list of German speaking painters and illustrators of surprising Muenchausen’s adventures with Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Theodor Hosemann (1807-1875).
British and American artists loved Baron Munchausen too. Let’s check how Peter Newell (1862-1924) saw the most famous liar in 1891:
Next is a 24-part series of illustrations by William Strang (1859-1921):
We are not finished with black and white drawing, but this time they were partially painted (by hand). The book is titled Travels and Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen and published in 1865. Illustrator was Henry Forrester (1804-1872), who used pen name Alfred Crowquill:
Our journey is not over yet. I can offer at least one great set, used in a community book, made by lovers of Esperanto. The book is titled Amazing Adventures of Baron Munchausen and is illustrated by four different artists. While Franz Gottfried and Oskar Herrfurth are already presented in series above, Alphonse Adolphe Bichard (1841-1914) is new in the company of Baron Munchausen’s illustrators. All colored plates are their work and you’ll spot which is which without a problem. But majority is still done by another legend: Paul Gustave Dore (1832-1883). His engravings are black and white (with a lot of yellowish overtones). I decided to put all at once, no matter some pictures are already available above, so you can enjoy the richness of the material in one spot.
All right, here we go with Karl Muehlmeister (1876-194?):