With 53 original drawings by Erich Buttner.
BUTTNER, Erich (Artist). GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von. Die [anderen unbekannten] Venezianischen Epigrammen. [Hannover: Banas & Dette], [1919.]
2 vols, 8vo., original painted cloth-backed publisher's boards, lettered in pen to spines; decorative end papers; volume I with 53 original colour illustratons; pp. vol I 57, [ii], vol II [ii], 57, [i]; both boards a little rubbed and faded, some loss to the spine of vol. II. Internally near-fine, with the odd spot.
Limited edition (500 copies printed, this being no. 3), designed by Leopold Fuchs, after which the types were destroyed.
The illustrations contained within this copy are finished to varying degrees. Many of them are erotic, one below each epigram, by the Expressionist artist Erich Büttner, who has also removed the title-page (noting on the stub: ‘Was einst der Herr von Goethe bewitzelt hat nun ein Maler ausgekritzelt’, quasi ‘What once Goethe poked fun at a painter has now scribbled out’), decorated the endpapers and painted over the covers. A pencil note, by Büttner, below the colophon reveals that this copy was made as a Christmas present for the bibliophile Emil Tuchmann in 1927.
Büttner (1889–1936) was a member of the Berlin Secession, producing portraits of fellow artists George Grosz, Lovis Corinth, Arno Holz, and Heinrich Zille. He also designed book plates, notably Albert Einstein’s in 1917.
Rodenberg, Deutsche Pressen, p. 408 (the first of Banas & Dette’s ‘Hölderlin-Drucke’, 1919–22).