Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Heinrich Kley's Reynard, the Fox

The stories about Reynard the Fox go back hundreds of years. There are French, German and Dutch versions, who all portray the character as somewhat nasty, but also clever and charismatic. He gets into all kinds of trouble,  but usually finds a way to come out on top.

Here are book illustrattions that show how famous German artist Heinrich Kley portrayed Reynard’s world of anthropomorphic animals. It’s interesting to see that most of the characters walk on their toes (instead of their heels like most Disney versions for types like these). It makes it more difficult to show them in natural, balanced poses, but Kley manages pretty well.

The book has no publishing date, but my guess is that these drawings were done sometime around 1920. Gorgeous color work.