Painter and Illustrator
Born April 24, 1838 in Regensburg, in Bavaria (Germany), Heinrich Lang (1838-1891) was a painter and illustrator whose work on horses and circus scenes is well known to, and much appreciated by, circus enthusiasts and collectors. Lang learned his craft at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (Königliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste), which was at the time the German States’ leading art school. He then went on to study horses in veterinary schools, and in the stud farms of the Princes of Thurn und Taxis: Equestrian paintings would become his specialty.
Lang traveled extensively in Hungary, and lived in Paris from 1866 to 1868, where his work was exhibited at the prestigious annual "Salon." His interest in horses naturally led him to the circus, which was still predominantly an equestrian show in the 19th century. During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, Lang specialized in sketches and paintings of battle scenes. Afterwards, he settled in Munich where he worked as an illustrator and writer, and where he died on July 8, 1891, at age fifty-three.
His circus sketches were drawn from life and they constitute a very good visual documentation on the German circus of the 19th century. They were published (in France and Germany) in two portfolios:
- Henri Lang, Equitation et Gymnastique (Paris, Goupil & Cie, 1881) — French edition
- Henri Lang, Voltigeurs, Jongleurs et Saltimbanques (Paris, Goupil & Cie, 1881) — French edition