Of Interest: Fritz Eichenberg’s Conceptual Work

July 7, 2012 Comments Off on Of Interest: Fritz Eichenberg’s Conceptual Work

Fritz Eichenberg is one of my favorite illustrators, and today I wanted to share with you some of his “behind-the-scenes” material included in his marvelous collection of woodcuts and lithographs, The Wood and the Graver. This is a must for fans of Eichenberg, as it includes personal recollections of most of his LEC and Heritage Press output, plus a generous smattering of his exquisite art from the George Macy Company and beyond. I’ll share some of his memories with you at a later date, but for now, enjoy the pictures. :)

This shot may look familiar to anyone who has seen Eichenberg’s Crime and Punishment Heritage or LEC. This is a posed shot Eichenberg did of himself in order to aid capturing the tense moment seen on the title page in both books. Here’s the finished product:

While we’re talking about this engraving, here’s a glimpse into the carving process:

This gives you the briefest understanding of the time and dedication it takes to be a wood engraver. The text expands upon that significantly. How about some sketchwork? Since we’ve been discussing Crime and Punishment, we’ll begin there:

The final woodcut appears on page 250 of the Heritage and Page 323 in the LEC.

This comes from The Idiot, but I do not know the page number right off hand. It’s like the one Dostoevsky I don’t have. XD

This too is from The Idiot.

The last sketch I have for you now is from the Heritage Gulliver’s Travels. Alas, I can’t aid you with a page number here, either.

The last two pieces are not conceptual, but are actually variants of art seen in The Brothers Karamazov. At the same time, Eichenberg had a commission for another Dostoevsky work for an alternate publisher, The Grand Inquisitor. Unlike Karamazov, which used stone lithographs, he did Inquisitor with wood engravings. I can do a comparison of one of them at the moment, and I’ll see about eventually refreshing the post with the final version of all of these sketches once I have The Idiot and Gulliver’s Travels in my possession. (There is a Dostoevsky pun there). Anyway!

And the other:

Hope you enjoyed this peek into Eichenberg’s creation process!

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