Schlange, Grass Snake by Paul Pfurtscheller, 1920
Vintage wall chart of the anatomy of the "Tropidonotus natrix", (today: European grass snake or ringed snake, 'Natrix natrix'). Lithograph on two sheets of paper, mounted on canvas. Author and illustrator was Prof. Dr. Paul Pfurtscheller. Pfurtscheller (1855-1927) produced a series of 39 "Zoologische Wandtafeln" (zoological wall plates) to be used for higher educational purposes. Although he was a modest high school teacher by training he gained recognition by the scientific community worldwide for this outstanding work. The snake is "Plate 18" in the series and easily one of the most striking compositions that Pfurtscheller had created. The Pfurtscheller wall charts were first published in Vienna, Austria, in 1902, by 'A. Pichler's Witwe & Sohn'. Later editions were also published by Dutch company 'Martinus Nijhoff' until 1953. This item is a Dutch piece, presumably from 1929. Beautiful use of colors, and it is still one of the lithographed editions, whereas later editions used offset-printing. Lithography of course is an enormously demanding technique - especially at this large-scale - which required up to 20 manual print-cycles for a single piece, since each color had to be applied separately. These colors of course were not supposed to overlap in the end. This process is what gives lithographs their extraordinary depth and unusual longevity to their colors.
Dr. Paul Pfurtscheller
|place of origin||Austria|
|date of manufacture||1929|
|detailed condition||Good — This vintage item has no defects, but it may show slight traces of use.|
|materials||paper, linen, wooden dowels|