Eduard Fuchs  

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Eduard Fuchs (31 January 1870 in Göppingen – 26 January 1940 in Paris) was a Marxist scholar of culture and history, political activist, writer, art collector and Honoré Daumier scholar. He specialized in the history of caricature, the history of erotica and what in German is called Sittengeschichte. Walter Benjamin wrote "Eduard Fuchs, der Sammler und der Historiker" on him.

He is probably best known for his multivolume Illustrierte Sittengeschichte.



Fuchs' father was a shopkeeper. Early on the younger Fuchs developed socialist and Marxist political convictions. In 1886 he joined the outlawed political party Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei (the precursor of the modern SPD, Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands). Fuchs received a doctor of law degree and practiced as an attorney. In 1892 he became editor-in-chief of the satiric weekly Süddeutscher Postillon and later co-editor of the Leipziger Volkszeitung. His inflammatory articles in newspapers – one accusing the Kaiser of being a mass murder – resulted in periodic jail sentences. During his periods of confinement, Fuchs wrote various social histories utilizing images as one of his primary sources. The first of these was his Karikatur der europäischen Völker (Caricatures of European Peoples), 1902. He moved to Berlin that same year were he edited the socialist newspaper Vorwärts. The following year he began his magnum opus, an examination of moral practice, Sittengeschichte, eventually running to six volumes by 1912. While engaged in this series, he followed up his interest in caricatures with one devoted to the representation of women, Die Frau in der Karikatur, 1905 (3 vols). Another book documenting the stereotypical representations of Jews appeared in 1912. Fuchs traveled with the artist Max Slevogt to Egypt in 1914, shortly before the outbreak of World War I. He was a pacifist during the War. Lenin's government put him in charge of prisoner exchange with Germany after the war; he was among the leaders of the German Comintern in Berlin in 1919. His interest in societal concerns in caricature led to a research interest in Daumier. Beginning in 1920, Fuchs published a catalogue raisonné on the artist in three volumes. He resigned from the party in 1929, following the expulsion of several stalwarts. At Hitler's ascension to power in Germany in 1933, Fuchs moved to France.

Major works


  • 1848 in der Karikatur. München: Ernst 1898
  • Die Karikatur der europäischen Völker vom Altertum bis zur Neuzeit[2] (mit Hans Kraemer). Berlin: A. Hoffman 1902
  • Die Karikatur der europäischen Völker vom Jahre 1848 bis zur Gegenwart. Berlin: A. Hoffman 1903
  • Das erotische Element in der Karikatur. Berlin: A. Hoffman 1904
  • Die Frau in der Karikatur[3]. München: Albert Langen 1906
  • Richard Wagner in der Karikatur (mit Ernst Kreowski). München: Albert Langen 1907
  • Geschichte der erotischen Kunst. Band 1: Das zeitgeschichtliche Problem. München: Albert Langen 1908
  • Illustrierte Sittengeschichte vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, Band 1: Renaissance. München: Albert Langen 1909
  • Illustrierte Sittengeschichte vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, Band 2: Die galante Zeit. München: Albert Langen 1911
  • Illustrierte Sittengeschichte vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, Band 3: Das bürgerliche Zeitalter. München: Albert Langen 1912
  • Die Wieberherrschaft in der Geschichte der Menschheit (mit Alfred Kind). 2 Bände. München: Albert Langen 1913
  • Der Weltkrieg in der Karikatur. Band 1: Bis zum Vorabend des Krieges". München: Albert Langen 1916
  • Die Juden in der Karikatur: ein Beitrage zur Kulturgeschichte. München: Albert Langen 1921
  • Geschichte der erotischen Kunst. Band 2: Das individuelle Problem. Erster Teil. München: Albert Langen 1923
  • Tang-plastik: chinesische grabkeramik des VII. bis X. jahrhunderts. München: Albert Langen, 1924
  • Gavarni. Hrsg. von Eduard Fuchs" (mit Paul Gavarni). München: Albert Langen, 1925
  • Geschichte der erotischen Kunst. Band 3: Das individuelle Problem. Zweiter Teil. München: Albert Langen 1926
  • Der Maler Daumier. München: Albert Langen 1930
  • Die grossen Meister der Erotik: ein Beitrag zum Problem des Schöpferischen in der Kunst; Malerei und Plastik. München: Albert Langen, 1931

Further reading

  • Walter Benjamin: Eduard Fuchs, der Sammler und der Historiker. In: Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung", Jg. 6, 1937, S. 346-381
  • Theodor Bergmann: "Gegen den Strom." Die Geschichte der KPD (Opposition). Hamburg 2001. ISBN 3879758360
  • Honoré Daumier, Eduard Fuchs, Shelley Butler Neltnor: "Holzschnitte, 1833-1870". München: A. Langen, 1918.
  • Peter Gorsen: "Wer war Eduard Fuchs?" In: "Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft", Jg. 19, Heft 3, Sept. 2006, S. 215-233
  • Thomas Huonker: "Revolution, Moral & Kunst. Eduard Fuchs: Leben und Werk". Zürich: Limmat-Verlag 1985, ISBN 3857910887
  • Ulrich Weitz: "Salonkultur und Proletariat: Eduard Fuchs, Sammler, Sittengeschichtler, Sozialist". Stuttgart: Stöffler & Schütz, c1991.
  • Eduard Fuchs, Karl Kaiser, Ernst Klaar, Klaus Völkerling: "Aus dem Klassenkampf: soziale Gedichte". München 1894. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1978.

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