Thursday, March 22, 2018

Heinrich Kley: Elegance and Cruelty

Heinrich Kley (German1863-1945) often juxtaposed elegance and cruelty.

Like Arthur Rackham, his knowledge of anatomy and his fertile imagination inspired generations of artists in the early 20th century, including the Disney Studios.

According to one book: "In fact, Disney himself held up a book of Kley’s drawings during a television appearance and said that they were integral to the studio’s lessons and workshops for newly hired animators."
Shipyard painting by Heinrich Kley
Fortunately, new works by Kley regularly appear on the auction market. Former Disney animator Andreas Deja has uncovered some unusual and newly seen Kleys on his blog Deja View. Today's images come from his blog.

Best books on Heinrich Kley are:
The Lost Art of Heinrich Kley, Volume 1: Drawings
The Lost Art of Heinrich Kley, Volume 2: Paintings & Sketches
The Drawings of Heinrich Kley (Dover)
More Drawings by Heinrich Kley

Previous posts on Kley:
Heinrich Kley, "The Demons of Krupp"
More on those Kley/Krupp Devils
Review of the "Lost Art" books


scottT said...

Inspiring work! I'm glad to know about this artist.

Steve said...

Thanks for the update, James. Kley is such a seminal artist. His influence seeps into the work of so many artists — sometimes more than seeps. I recall the cover art to the Grateful Dead’s 1977 album, Terrapin Station. It featured a banjo-playing turtle and a tambourine-shaking turtle — direct copies from Kley’s sketchbook. This was right around the time I was learning about Kley from the first Dover publication.

Gary said...

I bought the "Drawings" and "More Drawings" books in the 1970's. It is correct that there is a dark side to some of his works. However, those downers are balanced by a great deal of whimsy and satire to make the viewer laugh. I still occasionally use his work to cheer me when things are bit blah.

Andra said...

I hadn't run into Kley before. His work is fabulous. Thank you for introducing me to him.

Unknown said...

Nice post. Interesting images. Thanks for sharing the post