Reinicke was not only a painter; he is above all known as a burlesque cartoonist.
“Singeries” or monkey scenes have been popular in painting since the 17th century. In Germany the famous porcelain factory of Meissen produced since the middle of the 18th century porcelain monkey orchestras of over 20 figurines. The original set was created by Kändler in 1753 but just over ten years later he created a revised orchestra together with Peter Reinicke. Sadly I did not find a family link between that Peter and our Emile.
About Emil Reinicke
German painter and comic artist
Zerbst 1859 – circa 1942 Munich
Reinicke studied at the Academies of Dresden between 1876 and 1880 and of Munich between 1880 and 1882.
Although he was also active as a painter, Reinicke is best known in Germany as an early illustrator and cartoonist, active in Munich for the publishing company Braun und Schneider, for whom he was one of the draughtsmen illustrating the “Fliegende Blätter” (“loose sheets”). His style was burlesque. Every week this popular magazine received hundreds of letters with suggestions or readers with descriptions of witty, funny situations. After a ferocious selection the illustrators then made their adaptations.
Reinicke also made comic drawings of soldiers and officers for the publishing company of Friedrich Pustet from Regensburg.
About monkey tricks
“Singeries” or monkey tricks have been a popular subject in painting since the 17th century.
Typical of monkey scenes is their sense for satirical humour, often with a moralizing tendency, criticizing man’s behaviour and his sense for social hierarchy. Since Antiquity monkeys were considered stupid animals who, with their eyes wide open, are merely copying human foolish behaviour, without actually understanding it.
In applied arts I should mention the famous caricature porcelain monkey orchestras produced in Saxony, Germany, at the Meissen factory from around the middle of the 18th century (1747) onwards. The best–known modellers were Johann Friedrich Eberlein (1695 – 1749), Johann Joachim Kändler (1706 – 1775) and Peter Reinicke (1715 – 1768). Reinicke was/is a popular last name in this part of Germany. It would of course be tempting to hope for a family link between the Rococo modeller from the Age of Enlightenment and our painter/cartoonist.
The “Affenkapelle”, a fanciful orchestra of more than 20 monkeys in humane costumes, was believed to be a parody of the Dresden Court Orchestra in favour of the free, rational citizen: a conductor, musicians and four female singers. Kändler created it in 1753 and revised it in 1765/66 with Peter Reinicke.
Why should you by this pair of paintings?
Because these tender paintings reflect the soul of the Weimar Republic, lacking the cynicism of Otto Dix, the absurdity of Dadaism or the sadness of Gabriel Cornelius von Max.