The Art of Heinrich Lefler 

Heinrich Lefler (7 November 1863, Vienna – 17 March 1919, Vienna) was an Austrian painter, graphic artist and stage designer associated with the Golden Age of Illustration – particularly linked with the Jugendstil movement (the German variant of Art Nouveau).


Born in Vienna on November 7, 1863, Heinrich Lefler attended the academies of fine arts in Vienna and Munich, going on to become a member of the “Society of Visual artists – Kuenstlerhaus”. The established independent painter and graphic artist were in fact, a pioneer of modern Austrian graphic design. His numerous business designs included posters, advertisements, and catalogues. Already in 1882 some of these designs were to be found in the pattern book ALLEGORIES AND EMBLEMS. By 1897 he’d created one of the earliest Austrian art nouveau posters for “Auerlicht”, a manufacturer of incandescent lamp mantles.


During his career, Lefler also illustrated many books for the booming turn-of-the-century publishing scene. Finally, in 1900, Gustav Mahler appointed Heinrich Lefler to be the Official designer of the Vienna Court Opera. That same year, Lefler co-founded the “Hagenbund” art movement with his brother-in-law Joseph Urban, together with some other artists. Left weakened after suffering a stroke in late 1918, Heinrich Lefler died in Vienna on March 14, 1919.



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