Staré Risi na Morave: Josef Florian, 1929. First edition. Softcover. 97/120. Small Folio. 12pp., 6 plates with tissue guards. Original illustrated stiff light brown textured wraps over plain paper portfolio, protected by modern mylar. Illustrated half title with tissue guard, signed by Otto Coester in pencil. Illustrated title page printed in red and black. Czech text printed in red and black.
The six drawings are illustrating Kafka's story "Metamorphosis" and are considered to be the very first illustrations created for a work by Kafka, with a foreword by Gustav Janouch. Otto Coester was part of a close-knit circle of Kafka admirers. However, there is no confirmed record of Coester and Kafka ever meeting in person. The six illustrations are reproductions of Coester's pen and ink drawings in heliogravure, as are the illustrations on half title and title page. Contains descriptive list of titles of Coester's drawings. Text in Czech. Wraps, portfolio and interior in near fine condition. near fine. Item #43671
Otto Coester (1902–1990) was a German artist and designer. Coester had studied interior architectur and art history in Germany. He taught at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1934 until 1967. Notable is an intensive correspondence with artist Alfred Kubin from 1934 until 1949. Coester's artistic work in the 1930s was influenced by Romantic Realism and changed to Surrealistic fantasy after the war.