Busch, Wilhelm

Busch, Wilhelm,

1832–1908, German cartoonist, painter, and poet. After studying at the academies of Antwerp, Düsseldorf, and Munich, he joined the staff of the Fliegende Blätter, to which he contributed highly popular humorous drawings from 1859 to 1871. His humorous, illustrated poems for children, such as Max and Moritz (1865; tr. by Christopher Morley, 1932), are simply drawn, yet highly spirited. Busch's delightful series of wordless pictures were highly influential in the development of the comic strip.

Busch, Wilhelm


Born Apr. 15, 1832, in Wiedensahl, Lower Saxony; died Jan. 9, 1908, in Mechtshausen, also in Lower Saxony. German poet and artist.

Busch was a shopkeeper’s son. He studied at the Academies of Arts in Düsseldorf (1851-52), Antwerp (1852), and Munich (1854). He was the author of the popular children’s book Max and Moritz (1865; Russian translation, 1890). Writing from a liberal point of view, he criticized German life, especially that of the clergy, in his verse satires The Life of St. Anthony of Padua (1870; Russian translation, 1923), Pious Helen (1872), and Pater Filucius (1873). In his illustrations for his own poems Busch, with incisive observation and humor, has left us vivid impressions of prototypes of German philistines, their self-satisfaction, and their hypocrisy.


Sämtliche Werke, vols. 1-8. Munich, 1943.
In Russian translation:
Veselye rasskazy pro shutki i prokazy. St. Petersburg-Moscow [1890].
Skazki. Leningrad, 1924.


Böhne, F. W. Busch. Zürich-Stuttgart [1958].
Flügge, G. Wilhelm Busch. Leipzig, 1967.
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