Saturday, November 18, 2006

Heinrich Lang and the Auguste

As promised, another print from my collection of Heinrich Lang works.
Lang was a minor German painter from the late XIX century, specialized in equestrian pleasures. Among his works realized two magnificent albums of heliogravures on the theme of circus in central Europe around 1880. It is an exceptional and detailed document of circus life in a period of dramatic evolution of the art, at the turning point before the fall of the priority of the equestrian culture and the full rise of acrobatics and gymnastic in the ring.
The two albums are among the rarest works on circus, and Toole-Stott rates them among "the 100 best circus works".
The present image is titled "The hoops", and is one of the 28 prints contained in the second album ("Kunstreiter und Gaukler", 1881). In the image, valets, ring masters and clowns are in the center of the ring waiting for the horse ballerina, that will turn around them and hopefully jumping in each of the hoops.
The scene is almost certainly depicted in one of the Renz circus buildings in mitteleuropa.
The man on the left wearing mustaches can likely be Direktor Ernest Renz.
The most interesting thing: the man in the center, standing in profile, wearing a frock coat can be one of the earliest images that I know of the auguste (if not the first). And almost certainly, I believe him being Tom Belling, the originator of august himself.
But I will be back soon on the subject...

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