A whimsical pen and ink drawing by Heinrich Kley depicting a pair of crocodiles holding a tightrope for an art nouveau circus aerialist balancing with umbrella. Titled in the corner by the artist Seiltanz or "Rope Walk." A fine example of Kley's dazzling technical skills, work also visits the artist's penchant for humanizing the animal kingdom. Beautifully framed and matted in a period fine gold gilt plein air aesthetic antique frame.
Heinrich Kley is best remembered today for satirical, despairing, and often obscene images which evinced a maniacal distrust of the industrial revolution and its automatized society. In 1907, a series of remarkable pen & ink drawings appeared in the Munich German Expressionist literary art magazine Die Jugend that captured the growing disillusionment of fin-de-siecle German counter-culture. Kley's scathing and deftly rendered creations resonated with audiences and Kley became a leading interpreter of the follies and vices that beset mankind. Kley's art appeared in the United States in 1937 and caught the eye of Walt Disney & Sketch Artists at the Disney studio, including Albert Hurter, Joe Grant, and James Bodrero. Hurter introduced Kley's work to the Disney Studio and Walt Disney accumulated a collection of the artist's work. The images in Kley's art inspired a number of animated sequences and characters, including Night on Bald Mountain and the dancing animals of Dance of the Hours in Fantasia.