A history of the reception of German illustrations in Poland in the 19th century
19th century Polish translations of German works published in Warsaw were often illustrated with original German drawings. However, sometimes changes were introduced, probably because the publishers were afraid of the tsarist censors. In the case of Leon Rogalski’s translation of K.F. Reiche’s biography of Peter the Great, published in 1851, the Polish publisher decided to remove three steel engravings showing the book’s protagonist in a negative light. More substantial changes were introduced in a cycle of illustrations to Goethe’s Reineke Fox in Ludwik Jenike’s translation published in 1877. This edition was illustrated with wood engravings made on the basis of Wilhelm von Kaulbach’s illustrations by Polish engravers. However, the Polish publisher omitted some of Kaulbach’s original images, while some of the remaining ones – probably on Jenike’s initiative – were censored by removing attributes of secular power (crown, orders) and spiritual power (a bishop’s mitre).