Wilhelm Busch

Wilhelm Busch
Self-portrait, 1894
Self-portrait, 1894
BornHeinrich Christian Wilhelm Busch
(1832-04-15)15 April 1832
Wiedensahl, Kingdom of Hanover (today Lower Saxony)
Died9 January 1908(1908-01-09) (aged 75)
Mechtshausen, Province of Hanover, German Empire (today part of Seesen, Lower Saxony)
EducationHanover Polytechnic, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Beaux-Arts Academy, Antwerp, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich
GenreCaricature, painting, poetry
Notable worksMax and Moritz


Heinrich Christian Wilhelm Busch (15 April 1832 – 9 January 1908) was a German humorist, poet, illustrator, and painter. He published comic illustrated cautionary tales from 1859, achieving his most notable works in the 1870s. Busch's illustrations used wood engraving, and later, zincography.

Busch drew on contemporary parochial and city life, satirizing Catholicism, Philistinism, strict religious morality, and bigotry. His comic text was colourful and entertaining, using onomatopoeia, neologisms, and other figures of speech, that led to some work being banned by the authorities.

Busch was influential in both poetry and illustration, and became a source for future generations of comic artists. The Katzenjammer Kids was inspired by Busch's Max and Moritz, one of a number of imitations produced in Germany and the United States. The Wilhelm Busch Prize and the Wilhelm Busch Museum help maintain his legacy. The 175th anniversary of his birth in 2007 was celebrated throughout Germany. Busch remains one of the most influential poets and artists in Western Europe.

Family background

The house in which Busch was born, Wiedensahl, 2008

In the late eighteenth century Johann Georg Kleine, Wilhelm Busch's maternal grandfather, settled in the small village of Wiedensahl. There, in 1817, he bought a thatched half-timbered house, where Wilhelm Busch was to be born about 15 years later. Amalie Kleine, Johann's wife and Wilhelm Busch's grandmother, kept a shop in which Busch's mother Henriette assisted while her two brothers attended high school. When Johann Georg Kleine died in 1820, his widow continued to run the shop with Henriette.[1][2][3]

At the age of 19 Henriette Kleine married surgeon Friedrich Wilhelm Stümpe.[4] Henriette became widowed at the age of 26, with her three children to Stümpe dying as infants. About 1830 Friedrich Wilhelm Busch, the illegitimate son of a farmer, settled in Wiedensahl after completing a business apprenticeship in the nearby village of Loccum. He took over the Kleine shop in Wiedensahl, which he completely modernised.[5] He married Henriette Kleine Stümpe.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Wilhelm Busch
Alemannisch: Wilhelm Busch
العربية: ويلهلم بوش
تۆرکجه: ویلهلم بوش
беларуская: Вільгельм Буш
български: Вилхелм Буш
bosanski: Wilhelm Busch
català: Wilhelm Busch
čeština: Wilhelm Busch
Deutsch: Wilhelm Busch
español: Wilhelm Busch
Esperanto: Wilhelm Busch
français: Wilhelm Busch
hrvatski: Wilhelm Busch
italiano: Wilhelm Busch
latviešu: Vilhelms Bušs
Lëtzebuergesch: Wilhelm Busch
Nederlands: Wilhelm Busch
Plattdüütsch: Willem Busch
português: Wilhelm Busch
Ripoarisch: Wellem Busch
română: Wilhelm Busch
Simple English: Wilhelm Busch
slovenščina: Wilhelm Busch
српски / srpski: Вилхелм Буш
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Wilhelm Busch
svenska: Wilhelm Busch
тоҷикӣ: Вилҳелм Буш
українська: Вільгельм Буш