Monday, January 22, 2007

Hans im Gluck by Herbert Leupin

Hans im Gluck ("Hans in Luck"), based on a Grimm fairy tale, with drawings by Herbert Leupin, is a book I picked up last year in a great used bookstore, Lippincott Books, in downtown Bangor, Maine. It was printed in Switzerland in 1944 by Globi-Verlag in Zurich.

The above full-page illustration was why I bought the book. Hans has a jauntiness to his step, and just look at that fat luncheon sausage stuffed in his pocket.

What amazed me is how old the book is -- yet the colors remain very vibrant and arresting.

The largest illustration in the book is this 2 page gatefold. The longer you look, the more detail there is. Clicking on the above image will bring a larger, actual-size-of-the-book image.

Detail of the above drawing.

The last Herbert Leupin picture in the book. A spectacular depiction that almost defies perspective, yet it all makes cartoony sense. The details have made me linger on this every time I see it.

I don't know who Herbert Leupin was, except for the fact that he was a popular illustrator who made posters. Heaven knows, my grasp of German is good enough to order "beir," but not to actually comprehend this German-language book. So, I bought it for the pictures.

Regardless, Mr. Leupin's work should be reprinted, and called attention to. Hence, this day's blog.


Brian Fies said...

Beautiful work, Mike, thanks for showing it. I like the detailed botanicals but the real winner is that village, which draws the eye right into the middle and makes you want to explore every shop. It's hard to tell how they were done, but they have a luminosity that makes me think watercolor.

Can you imagine what the originals look (or looked) like?

Hedy said...

Hi there,
I totally agree, this is stunning!
The reason I came to this site was me trying to find out if the fairy tale "Hans im Glueck" is known at all in the English speaking world.
Can anyone help?
If not, well, it's been worth it anyway. Beautiful. Thanks, Mike

Mike Lynch said...

>makes you want to explore every shop

Ha ha! This is why you're a great writer, Brian: you can nail a wonderful turn of phrase.

Hedy, I never heard of this story before seeing this book as an adult.

Hedy said...

Thanks, Mike, I thought as much. Pity though, it's a super story.