91. [Austria - Fränkel]
ERMERS, Max; WEYWAR, Alois
4to:  pp.
Sewn in Japanese style with painted cardboard covers. Laid in red box (signed C. Gevaert) with large window at front cover and titled spine, red slipcase (some tiny traces of use, covers sl. frayed with some loss at corners). Good copy.
Very rare work entirely executed in xylography, by the Viennese painter, graphic artist and puppeteer Karl Fränkel (1895-1964). All woodcuts hand-coloured with watercolour, incl. the one pasted on front cover showing a man and a horse. "An extraordinary book illustrating "beauty through health and strength" ideals, first popularised by Laban and later inseparable from Fascist philosophy in the '30s. The striking homo-erotic woodcuts illustrate a group of exercises invented by Dr. Thun-Hohenstein, a Viennese doctor, who compares human movement to that of a horse and suggests various jumps, stretches and handstands to promote "harmony, health and beauty." The text, which appears as a justification at the end, comments on Hellenism and links it to the beneficial effects of exercise. There is no detail of the number of copies issued but we must assume there were a very small number for private circulation since the woodcut text, colouring and sewing of the binding is by hand." (WorldCat). Compiled by A. Weywar, gym teacher and assistant of Dr. Thun, and with "Randbemerkungen zu einigen Holtzschnitten" by M. Ermers. In 1939, the artist Karl Fränkel was taken to the concentration camp at Dachau, where he was imprisoned until his exile to Great Britain. In 1945, he was able to return to Vienna. Because of the artisanal manufacture of this work, in a very limited number, it is practically not to be found in any large library or auction catalogue, or bibliography.
Ref. WorldCat (1 copy). - National Library Austria. - Albertina Vienna. - Not in BL, BnF, NUC, etc.
Prov. "Elsa [?]" (pencil ownership entry on title).
€ 1.200 / 1.500Bid Live bidding