Screen Print reproduction
Size: A3 (29,7 x 42 cm)
Illustration recovered from old popular magazines and books made in 19th century
CHARACTER: Hanswurst (predecessor of Kasperl) was a popular coarse-comic figure of German-speaking impromptu comedy. He is "a half doltish, half cunning, partly stupid, partly knowing, enterprising and cowardly, self indulgent and merry fellow, who, in accordance with circumstances, accentuated one or other of these characteristics."
Through the 16th and 17th centuries, he was a buffoon character in rural carnival theaters and touring companies. The name first appeared in a Middle Low German version of Sebastian Brant's Ship of Fools (1519) (using the name Hans myst). "Hanswurst" was also a mockery and insult. Martin Luther used it in his 1541 pamphlet Wider Hans Worst, when he railed against the Catholic Duke Henry of Brunswick.