Today I am reintroducing Herr Bruno Paul (1874 – 1968), one of the pioneers of German Jugendstil. Through cartoons that reduced conventional overly rendered drawings to starkly reductive graphics, Paul redefined the way German caricature and graphic design were created in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
Paul was born in Germany in 1874, and studied Fine Art at Munich and Paris before setting up a studio with the caricaturist Rudolf Wilke. Both were regular contributors to Die Jugend before publisher Albert Langen recruited them to work for satiric cartoon journal Simplicissimus in 1896.
Paul and Wilke, along with Olaf Gulbransson, Ludwig Thoma, Thomas T. Heine and Edward Thony persuaded Langen to allow the art staff to control the direction of Simplicissimus, which took merciless jabs at Kaiser, church and military.
In 1907 Paul became Director of the Berlin Museum Art School and produced graphic, interior and architectural design. He built mansions, buildings and bridges; he was involved in avant-garde art circles, and was one of the founders of the Deutsche Werkbund. One of his pupils was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Paul died in 1968.