Paul Konewka

* 05.04.1841 in Greifswald; ✝ 13.05.1871 in Berlin

Silhouette Artist



Paul Konewka, a sometime apprentice to Carl Steffeck, was still a child when he began to practise the outline-cutter’s art. On completing his final examination he studied painting and sculpture in the workshop of Drake and Adolf Menzel, although his preferred medium continued to be the silhouette. His first successful silhouettes were the twelve for Goethe’s Faust, which increased both his wealth and reputation.These were exhibited at Berlin in 1864 and published in London in 1871.

In 1867 Konewka moved to Stuttgart, where he created his masterpiece: twenty-four illustrations for a bilingual edition of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (1868), engraved into wood by Albert Vogel and accompanied with text from the Shakespeare translation of Schlegel. Two years later he brought out illustrations for Falstaff und seine Freunde, which were then published posthumously in 1871. In 1872 an English version (trans. C.C. Chackword) was published in Boston.  His last book was Der Schwarze Peter, created in collaboration with his brother-in-law Johann Trojan, who also went on to publish many of the silhouettes left by Knoweka on his premature death from consumption in 1871, when he was only thirty years old.





Secondary Literature

Album pages with this person

Citation and Licence

Konewka, Paul, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 26.09.2023)

This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.

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