Adolfo Hohenstein

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Advertising poster by Adolfo Hohenstein, 1899

Adolf (Adolfo) Hohenstein (born March 18, 1854 in Saint Petersburg , † April 12, 1928 in Bonn ) was a German painter , illustrator , set designer and costume designer . Hohenstein was one of the most recognized poster designers of his time and is considered a pioneer of the Liberty style in Italy.


Hohenstein was the son of German parents, Julius and Laura Irack, and was born in Saint Petersburg. Later his family moved to Vienna, where he grew up and received his education. First trips took him to India, where he decorated the residences of the upper class. In 1879 he moved to Milan , where his most creative phase began. In Italy he is known by the first name Adolfo. He became a stage and costume designer at the Teatro alla Scala and other theaters and operas . He found employment as an art director and designed a. a. the posters for the operas La Bohème and Tosca , graphics for Campari and the Corriere della Sera as well as postcards and book covers. At the theater he designed the costumes and sets for several operas, for example for Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini , with whom he worked closely several times. Hohenstein later moved to Germany, where he mainly worked as a painter, and often commuted to Italy. Between 1909 and 1923 Hohenstein was a member of the Düsseldorf artist association Malkasten .

Emergency money from the city of Bonn from 1920, portrait of Beethoven based on a design by Karl Menser , value side to Hohenstein

At the time of the Weimar Republic and during the German hyperinflation Hohenstein designed the value side of a series of Token - coins of the city Bonn on 10, 25 and 50 cents , on the image side a portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven , designed by Karl Menser showed and in the Mint Gebr. Kugel & Fink was minted in Lüdenscheid .

Works (selection)


  • Eugenio Manzato [ed.]: Un pioniere del manifesto. Adolf Hohenstein, 1854-1928. Edizioni Iniziative Unindustria, Treviso 2003

Web links

Commons : Adolf Hohenstein  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bettina Baumgärtel , Sabine Schroyen, Lydia Immerheiser, Sabine Teichgröb: Directory of foreign artists. Nationality, residence and studies in Düsseldorf . In: Bettina Baumgärtel (Hrsg.): The Düsseldorf School of Painting and its international impact 1819–1918 . Michael Imhof Verlag, Petersberg 2011, ISBN 978-3-86568-702-9 , Volume 1, p. 432
  2. Ferdinand Dahl: Catalog for the exhibition Kunstmedals - Medaillenkunst , part 2 (= Der Steckenreiter. Ancillary hours dedicated to the pleasure of coins. A coin post of the Numismatic Society Bonner Münzfreunde eV , volume 87). Numismatic Society Bonner Münzfreunde, Bonn 2013, p. 7 ( PDF ( Memento from April 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive ))