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Heinrich Hofmann 01. Die drei Weisen aus dem Morgenlande. Kommet zu Mir – Bild 2. Pencil drawing. Matthew 2:1-12

Photogravure 01 The adoration of the magi.

Chromolithograph 01a The adoration of the magi.

Chromolithograph 01b The adoration of the magi.

Chromolithograph 01c The adoration of the magi.

Heinrich (Johann Michael Ferdinand) Hofmann (1824 – 1911): German painter and illustrator. His most famous works are in the Riverside Church in New York: “Christ and the Rich Young Ruler”, Christ in Gethsemane”, “Christ in the Temple” and “Picture of Christ”. Probably with newly-developed printing processes in mind, Hoffmann created three portfolios of pencil drawings depicting the life of Christ. As published by heliogravure, their names in English are: “Come Unto Me”, “Remember Me”, and “Peace Unto You”; in German: “Gedenke mein: Ein Weihgeschenk für christliche Familien. 12 Zeichnungen aus dem Leben des Heilandes” 1886/“Kommet zu mir! Bilder aus dem Leben des Heilandes; Festgabe für Christliche Familien” 1887/“Friede sei mit Euch: Bilder aus dem Leben des Heilands” 1898. They were widely distributed in Europe and America.

Otto Adolph Stemler (1872-1953): American illustrator. When chromolithography was invented in the late 1800’s, American artists began to convert popular illustrations into colour. Stemler converted most of the Hofmann monochrome lithographs. He also converted the works of other famous illustrators such as Doré, Bida, Plockhorst and Bouguereau, as well as creating his own Bible illustrations while working for the Standard Publishing Company. Little is known about Stemler in his early career. Later in life he worked for Standard Publishing full-time, but he may have done freelance work before that because his images show up in the publications of Providence Litho, Messenger Corporation et alia. Apparently Stemler published religious art almost exclusively.