KOKOSCHKA, OSKAR. 1886-1980.
Die träumenden Knaben. [Vienna: Wiener Werkstätte by Berger and Chwala, 1907/1908.]
Oblong 4to (242 x 276 mm). Comprising 2 plain and 8 color lithographs. Original cloth with lithographed vignette on paper to upper cover. Light wear and faint staining to cloth, contents about fine.
KOKOSCHKA'S FIRST PUBLICATION AND A LANDMARK IN GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM, no 174 of 275 numbered copies of the second, Leipzig issue. Kokoschka wrote and illustrated The Dreaming Boys when he was only 22 years old for the monumental 1908 Kunstschau, as commissioned by the Wiener Werkstätte. Very few copies were sold in 1908 and the prints remained neglected until Kurt Wolff re-issued them in 1917; he added the limitation statement on a paper label to the inside lower cover.
"This was intended by Kokoschka to be a children's book, but the powerful Expressionist poem of sexual longing and suggestive images of dense forests, frolicking animals, and undulating waters teeming with jumping red fish are not typical children's fare. Although the flat bright colors and sharp black outlines are in keeping with the ornamental style then favored in Vienna, Kokoschka's awkward, gangly figures show him beginning to move towards a more emotionally expressive style and more provocative content" (German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, MoMA, 2011). Kokoschka dedicated the book to Gustav Klimt. Artist & The Book 147.