City dweller, successful fella, worked in a bank as a clerk but he thought to himself, “I want to live a life that’s a lot less monetary.” So he taught himself to paint and draw and all his friends who saw his work said “Cor! You ought to take this up, seriously.”
And that, in the musical stylings of Blur, is a brief introduction to Artuš Scheiner (1863-1938), the quiet little white collar worker who gave up his career as a pencil-pushing, number-cruncher at the Financial General in Prague, to become one of Bohemia’s most successful artists and who produced a phenomenal amount of work during his seventy-five years.
Yet, for such an industrious and commercially successful artist, there is, perhaps surprisingly, little written, well, in English at least, about Scheiner other than he lived, he worked and he died, which is really quite fine as it means we get to concentrate solely on the work he produced.
In his twenties, Scheiner started selling comic illustrations to the local newspapers and magazines. He had taught himself how to draw and paint but kept his passion a secret in fear he would be ridiculed for having such high ambition. His early cartoons won him admiration and so encouraged, Scheiner soon progressed to working as an illustrator of folk tales, fairy tales, and children’s stories (like Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies). His main work was featured in a series of best-selling volumes of Czechoslovak fairy tales by the likes of Božena Němcová, Václav Tille, and Karel Jaromír Erben.
His work followed in the elaborate and highly detailed secessionist style popularized by the likes of Gustav Klimt. Scheiner’s illustrations were compelling in their bold, confident lines and strong use of color, and especially in Scheiner’s ability to make his drawings filled with drama, movement, and dark menace—an unsettling sense that something weird and strange is about to unfold.
H/T Juxtapoz and Monster Brains.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The man who painted trolls, monsters, sea serpents, witches and the Black Death
Mutants and Grotesque Monsters: The Soviet Artist who rebelled against the fall of Communism
Weird monsters of Japanese folklore
Macabre, gothic illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination’