|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Hans Alexander Mueller was one of several prominent masters of woodcut
and wood-engraving in Germany who were influential in the past
century. (Among his protégés was the young Lynd Ward (1905-1985),
who introduced the wood-engraved wordless novel to the United States,
and who was the subject of the previous Fairchild Gallery exhibition, Lynd Ward: A Centennial|
Mueller provided forty-six color wood-engraved illustrations for the 1941New York/Random House edition of a translation of Don Quixote by Peter Anthony (né Pierre Antoine) Motteux
(1660-1718) (see also in this exhibition the 1879 Edinburgh/William
Paterson edition of Motteux). Of Mueller's work, editor and
critic Edwin Seaver (1900-1987) wrote in the foreword, "Not since the
drawings of Gustave Doré, it seems to me, have there been any
illustrations for Don Quixote that can match these...."
For his popular 1939 text Woodcuts & Wood Engravings: How I Make Them, Mueller used one of his illustrations being prepared for the 1941 Don Quixote
to demonstrate how the midtone (color) plate and the black plate (for
shadows and details) combine against the white paper to produce images
well-defined in volume and depth.
In 1950, a few years before the semiseptcentennial of Don Quixote,
Mueller was commissioned by the Cleveland Print Club to produce a
"membership edition" of a scene from the novel. (Print clubs
often offer, as a benefit of membership, an original commissioned work
available exclusively to members.) Mueller produced this charming
two-color woodcut, representing as a
"castle in the sky" the flurry of imagination that preceded Don
Quixote's quest; his first adventure as a "knight-errant" was to be in
chapter 2 at the inn, which he saw as "a castle with four turrets, the
pinnacles of which were of glittering silver...."
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, The first part of the life and
achievements of the renowned Don Quixote de la Mancha; trans. Peter
Motteux (New York: Random House, 1941).
Hans Alexander Mueller, Woodcuts & Wood Engravings: How I Make Them (New York: Pynson Printers, 1939).
- Georgetown University Library and Art Collection.
Author of Books:
Making Woodcuts & Wood Engraving: Lessons by a Modern Master, Publisher: Mineola 2006
Woodcuts and Wood Engravings: How I Make Them. Publisher: Pynson Printers, NY. 1938
Submitted January 2007 by Scott Wilder, Art Researcher from Olathe, Kansas
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