Lost Art of Heinrich Kley Lost Art of Heinrich Kley

“The Lost Art Of Heinrich Kley” Collects Over 450 Rare Drawings And Paintings

Small press publisher Picture This Press will release two-volumes of The Lost Art of Heinrich Kley next month at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland. The book will be available to order on-line afterward. The German cartoonist Kley has been an especially important influence on Disney artists from the 1930s through today. In the words of animator Andreas Deja, “Kley was doing with illustration what Walt was doing with animation. Making impossible characters and situations look completely plausible and believable.”

The publisher’s description of The Lost Art of Heinrich Kley is printed below:

The Lost Art of Heinrich Kley Volumes One & Two collect over 450 drawings and paintings from a wide array of sources. Neither volume overlaps with past books on Kley, as nearly none of these drawings have been collected and reprinted since their original publication a century or more ago. Both volumes also provide groundbreaking scholarship on Kley’s life and work by German art historian Alexander Kunkel–whose recent research is presented in these volumes for the first time in English–along with incisive appreciations by contemporary artists Michael Wm. Kaluta and Jesse Hamm.

Volume One focuses on Kley’s ink drawings, and reprints for the first time a substantial selection of his illustration work for children’s books and adult genre fiction, a side of Kley’s career previously unexplored in other collections. This volume also includes a wide sampling of Kley’s cartoons and magazine work, with newly collected examples taken directly from a variety of rare sources such as Jugend, Simplicissimus, and the historic Der Orchideengarten (the world’s first fantasy fiction magazine). In all, over 300 Kley illustrations and cartoons fill this first volume.

Volume Two also breaks new ground by being the first book to present a large number of Kley’s paintings and preparatory drawings, some reproduced directly from the original art. These color works reveal a heretofore rarely glimpsed pool of talent, and expand on the subject matter traditionally associated with the artist by including examples of his landscapes and industrial paintings. This volume’s preparatory drawings are culled from the Library of Congress’ untapped Kley archive, and show the artist working out concepts for book illustrations, reworking ink drawings into color paintings, and doodling for his own amusement. Approximately 150 drawings, many in color, appear in this volume.

  • The drawing on the cover of Vol. 1 reminds me of Grandville.

  • Mark Sonntag

    Awesome, another book on the must have list.

  • So, how much?

  • Yeeha!!
    These books are long overdue and I’m sure will be surprising to many who are only familiar with Kley’s pen and ink work. His watercolors of urban lamdscapes and factories are masterful.
    I can’t wait to get my mitts on these!
    Now all we need is a big fat book on T.S. Sullivant.

    Thanks, Amid!

    • There you have it. If Peter de Seve says Heinrich Kley is amazing, you know Kley is amazing!

  • Robbie Erwin

    Amazing news! Looking forward to getting these!

  • bob kurtz

    great!!! i can’t wait!

  • bob kurtz

    and where is that big fat book on t.s. sullivant? i am waiting.

  • Looks like a great book!

    Regarding the promo video, however, was anyone else bothered by the lack of eases on the camera moves?

  • More must have books on my list! Thanks for the grand heads up,Amid!

  • Yes, amazing post. I love finding great artists that I previously wasn’t aware of. I want this book!

    This guy was great. I bet he was an influence of another great fantasy artist, Frank Frazetta. Obviously a big influence on early Disney stuff. Very cool!

  • Just wanted to drop a note here that both volumes of “The Lost Art of Heinrich Kley” are now available for immediate ordering and shipping exclusively from the publisher at the below address. Thanks for your interest!


    • Amitabh

      Dear Joe,
      I have just ordered the books and I had friend bring them back to India!! Great books.  Thank you.
      I have a question, like most other art these books do not describe the size of the work. Can you send me the dimensions of perhaps a few of the sketchbook pages in your books. Please mention the page numbers. It really would be fascinating to see how large the original art work was for him to squeeze in so much detail.
      I know this might be tedious but just a few would be great. It is unlikely that I will the original art work in India anytime soon!
      Thanks again the books have just arrived and I have not spent enough time with them yet.  Will pore over them this weekend.


  • Joe Procopio

    If you enjoyed my book on Heinrich Kley, we’ve just released our latest book on golden age “good girl” comic great, Matt Baker. Hope you enjoy the trailer for “The Lost Art of Matt Baker: The Complete Canteen Kate” from Lost Art Book.