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Adolfo Hohenstein

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Nationality  Germany
Name  Adolfo Hohenstein
Period  Art Nouveau

Adolfo Hohenstein filevintageadbrowsercomlv8xu7j5dig03yzjpg
Born  18 March 1854 (1854-03-18) St. Petersburg, Russian Empire (today's Russia)
Known for  Painting, Illustration, Decorative art
Notable work  Tosca and La Boheme posters, Campari adds
Movement  Art Nouveau, called Stile Liberty in Italy
Died  April 12, 1928, Bonn, Germany


Adolfo Hohenstein (Saint Petersburg, 18 March 1854 – Bonn, 12 April 1928) was a German painter, advertiser, illustrator, set designer and costume designer. He's considered the father of the Italian poster art and an exponent of the Stile Liberty, the Italian Art Nouveau. Together with Leonetto Cappiello, Giovanni Mario Mataloni, Leopoldo Metlicovitz and Marcello Dudovich, he's considered one of the most important Italian poster designers.


Adolfo Hohenstein Adolf Hohenstein Works on Sale at Auction amp Biography

Early years

Adolfo Hohenstein Adolfo Hohenstein Italian Art Nouveau Period Poster circa

Adolfo Hohenstein was born in Saint Petersburg, the capital of Russian Empire, to German parents, Julius and Laura Irack. His father was a forest engineer, whose career prompted him to travel extensively. Adolf moves to Vienna where he grows up and completes his studies. His travels take him to India, where he decorates the houses of the local nobility.

The Italian experience

Adolfo Hohenstein Adolfo Hohenstein Wikiwand

In 1879, he settles down in Milan, Italy. He becomes a set and costume designer for La Scala and other theatres. There he meets the musical publisher Giulio Ricordi, and in 1889 begins to work for the Ricordi Graphical Workshops, where he shortly becomes the artistic director in charge of the graphical part. He'll create the posters for La Bohème and Tosca, as well as publicity for Campari, Buitoni and Corriere della Sera, numerous postcards, covers for scores and booklets. His work will continue to cover the theatrical dimension: scenarios and wardrobes for several works, among them Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff (1893) and a major part of the works of Giacomo Puccini, from the sketches of the Villas to posters of Madama Butterfly (1904). At Ricordi's he has as colleague Giovanni Mario Mataloni and as students Leopoldo Metlicovitz and Marcello Dudovich.

Return to Germany

Adolfo Hohenstein Adolf Hohenstein Works on Sale at Auction amp Biography

In the first years of the 1900s, after marrying Katharina Plaskuda, a widow, he travels more and more frequently between Italy and Germany till 1906, year in which, after winning the competition for the graphical symbol and the poster for the "Esposizione per il Traforo del Sempione", he leaves Milan for Bonn and Düsseldorf definitively. He will settle in Bonn in 1918. The German years see him engaged mostly as a painter and involved in the decoration of numerous buildings, among them one of the first in constructed reinforced concrete in Renania (1911). He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting.

Adolfo Hohenstein Images Frank T Zumbachs Mysterious World Seite 244

Adolfo Hohenstein died in Bonn 12 April 1928.

Main poster works

Adolfo Hohenstein Adolfo Hohenstein Italia Liberty
  • 1898 – Corriere della Sera
  • 1898 – Cintura Calliano contro il mal di mare
  • 1899 – Onoranze a Volta nel centenario della pila
  • 1899 – Tosca
  • 1899 – Cesare Urtis & Co. Torino. Forniture electriche
  • 1900 – Esposizione d'Igiene
  • 1900 – Monte Carlo. Tir aux pigeons
  • 1900 – Monaco. Exposition et concours de canots automobiles
  • 1901 – Bitter Campari
  • 1904 – Madama Butterfly
  • 1905 – Fiammiferi senza fosforo del Dottor Craveri
  • 1906 – Birra Italia
  • Main theatre works (Ricordi Archives)

    Adolfo Hohenstein La Boheme Musica di Puccini Print by Adolfo Hohenstein at
  • Giacomo Puccini, Le Villi, Milan, Teatro Dal Verme, 31 May 1884
  • 2 original sketches 2 scenario props
  • Giacomo Puccini, Edgar, Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 21 April 1889
  • 54 original costumes 5 scenario props
  • Richard Wagner, Mastersingers of Nuremberg, Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 26 December 1889
  • 62 original costumes 4 set props
  • Alfredo Catalani, Loreley, Torino, Teatro Regio, 16 February 1890
  • 42 original costumes
  • Alfredo Catalani, La Wally, Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 20 January 1892
  • 4 original sketches 41 original costumes 1 set prop
  • Alberto Franchetti, Cristoforo Colombo, Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 26 January 1892
  • 90 figurini originali
  • Niccolò van Westerhout, Cimbelino, Rome, Teatro Argentina, 7 April 1892
  • 37 original costumes 3 set props
  • Giacomo Puccini, Manon Lescaut, Torino, Teatro Regio, 1893
  • 57 original costumes 4 set props
  • Giuseppe Verdi, Falstaff, Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 9 February 1893
  • 5 original sketches 41 original costumes 4 set props 13 watercolor designs
  • Giacomo Puccini, La Bohème, Torino, Teatro Regio, 1 February 1896
  • 3 original sketches 62 original costumes 4 set props
  • Pietro Mascagni, Iris, Rome, Teatro Costanzi, 22 November 1898
  • 3 original sketches 40 original costumes 9 set props 1 portrait of Mascagni
  • Giacomo Puccini, Tosca, Rome, Teatro Costanzi, 14 January 1900
  • 3 original sketches 49 original costumes 4 set props
  • Alberto Franchetti, Germania, Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 1 March 1902
  • 4 original sketches 95 original costumes 7 set props
  • Franco Alfano, Risurrezione, Torino, Teatro Regio, 1904
  • 2 set props


  • 1894 – Esposizioni Riunite, Milan, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense
  • 1911 – Katalog der Großen Kunstausstellung Düsseldorf (27 May – 8 October), Düsseldorf, Kunstakademie
  • 1912 – Katalog der Frühjahrs-Ausstellung (3 March – 14 April), Düsseldorf, Kunst-Akademie
  • 1916 – Kunstchronik, Neue Folge 26, Monaco, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
  • 1917 – Große Berliner Kunstausstellung, Düsseldorf, Kunstakademie
  • References

    Adolfo Hohenstein Wikipedia

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