Wilhelm Busch (15 April 1832 – 9 January 1908) was an influential German caricaturist, painter, and poet who is famed for his satirical picture stories with rhymed texts.
After initially studying mechanical engineering and then art in Düsseldorf, Antwerp, and Munich, he turned to drawing caricatures. One of his first picture stories, Max and Moritz (published in 1865), was an immediate success and has achieved the status of a popular classic and perennial bestseller.
Max and Moritz as well as many of his other picture stories are regarded as one of the main precursors of the modern comic strip. Max and Moritz, for instance, was an inspiration for the Katzenjammer Kids.
Wilhelm Busch also wrote a number of poems in a similar style to his picture stories. Besides that he produced more than 1,000 oil paintings that remained unsold up to his death in 1908. He was also active as a sculptor.
Many couplets from Busch's humorous verses have achieved the status of adages in the German language, such as "Vater werden ist nicht schwer, Vater sein dagegen sehr" ("It is easy to become a father, but being one is rather harder") or "Dieses war der erste Streich, doch der zweite folgt sogleich" ("This was the initial trick, but the second follows quick"). Only Goethe and Schiller are quoted more frequently in German than Busch.
(with the year of publication)
- 1859 Die kleinen Honigdiebe
- 1864 Bilderpossen
- 1865 Max and Moritz
- 1866 Schnaken und Schnurren
- 1867 Hans Huckebein, der Unglücksrabe
- 1868 Schnaken und Schnurren, part II
- 1869 Schnurrdiburr oder die Bienen Braun
- 1870 Der heilige Antonius von Padua
- 1872 Schnaken und Schnurren, part III
- 1872 Die fromme Helene
- 1872 Bilder zur Jobsiade
- 1872 Pater Filuzius
- 1873 Der Geburtstag oder die Partikularisten
- 1874 Dideldum!
- 1874 Kritik des Herzens
- 1875 Abenteuer eines Junggesellen
- 1876 Herr und Frau Knopp
- 1877 Julchen
- 1878 Die Haarbeutel
- 1879 Fipps, der Affe
- 1881 Stippstörchen für Äuglein und Öhrchen
- 1881 Der Fuchs. Die Drachen. - Zwei lustige Sachen
- 1882 Plisch und Plum
- 1883 Balduin Bählamm, der verhinderte Dichter
- 1884 Maler Klecksel
- 1891 Eduards Traum
- 1893 Von mir über mich (autobiography)
- 1895 Der Schmetterling
- 1904 Zu guter Letzt
- 1908 Hernach
- 1909 Schein und Sein
- 1910 Ut ôler Welt (legends)
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