Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC:

Postcards 1 week 2 days ago #96192

  • Neville_C
  • Neville_C's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 1457
  • Thank you received: 2129
A good hand-drawn example, posted from Pretoria to Vienna, 1 Feb 1900.

Almost certainly by Austrian-born war artist Johann Schönberg (1844-1913), who was in Pretoria at this time working for The Sphere. The postcard is signed "Schwager" (brother-in-law) and the line "schreibe auch an Pauline" ("also write to Pauline") seems to refer to Schönberg's wife, Pauline.






"What use is the colour khaki to the English if they get beaten blue & green by the Boers?"


...
Attachments:
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sturgy

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Postcards 1 week 2 days ago #96196

  • Neville_C
  • Neville_C's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 1457
  • Thank you received: 2129
Having consulted Ryno Greenwall's "Artists and Illustrators of the Anglo-Boer War", it transpires that the above postcard was sent from Pretoria while Schönberg was working clandestinely for The Sphere.

As part of the subterfuge, Schönberg was required to avoid direct contact with his wife in England. In this context, the line "schreibe auch a Pauline" seems to indicate that he circumvented this prohibition by communicating with her through his brother-in-law, Heinrich, in Vienna.

Knowing the background to Schönberg’s assignment, the ant-British nature of the drawing should be viewed as part of a complex scheme to dupe the Boer authorities into believing he was working for the pro-Boer periodical Die Gartenlaube.

Greenwall writes:

"Artists and Illustrators of the Anglo-Boer War", pp. 200-202

Schönberg’s involvement in the Boer War is remarkable in that it was done clandestinely from behind the Boer lines. The Sphere for 16 June 1900 carried the following report: “In November last it occurred to the editor of this journal that it was desirable to illustrate the war from another aspect than that practicable from the point of view of the special correspondent with the British Army”.
It is interesting to note that this editorial policy was made even before the first copy of The Sphere appeared in January 1900. The editorial board discussed the possibilities of sending an artist behind the Boer lines but realized that it would be impossible for an Englishman to go. The report continues: “It was remembered, however, that there resided in London an artist of considerable reputation and talent, who had worked for many illustrated newspapers at home and abroad”.
'John Schonberg', as he was called in England, or Johann Schönberg in his native Austria, had lived in England for over 20 years. The report continues:
“Will you” Schönberg was asked, “go to Pretoria for The Sphere? You are to set aside for the moment all interest in England; you are to forget the English language from the hour you arrive in South Africa; you are to carry an Austrian passport with you to Pretoria, and to speak nothing but German from the moment you arrive until the hour of leaving the enemy’s country. You are to represent, nominally, a German newspaper if one will consent to accept occasional drawings from you”.
Schönberg readily accepted the offer. The Sphere continues; “He sailed on the Guelph to Cape Town as special artist for the German publication Gartenlaube on 18 November 1899. On board the Guelph, which carried troops, was also a contingent of nurses. Schönberg spent much of his time aboard doing sketches of the nurses and the way in which “Tommy Atkins amused the fair sisters of mercy en route”. Trouble was experienced when the ship left Durban for Delagoa Bay. Captain Percy Scott, the commander of H.M.S. Terrible, who was in charge of shipping intelligence and passenger regulations in the Mozambique Channel, suspected Schönberg of being a German officer. Even though Scott had been told of the reason for Schönberg 's journey to the Transvaal he ordered him to leave the ship within 24 hours. While in Durban Schönberg sketched the arrest of the Bundesrath by the H.M.S. Terrible on suspicion of carrying contraband.
Schönberg boarded a French steamer, Campania, using the name Jean Beaumont (the French translation of John Schonberg) and sailed ostensibly for Beira. When the ship called at Delagoa Bay on 10 January 1900 he disembarked. From there he travelled on to Pretoria. Unfortunately, the Boer officials did not understand precisely what a special war artist was. After an introduction to Transvaal State Secretary Grobler, however, he was referred to F.W. Reitz and was given a “permit for sketching and drawing” by General Joubert's secretary, De Souza. He was granted an interview with General Joubert at Modderspruit. Schönberg was allowed to accompany Joubert through the Boer field of operations but after a few days returned to Pretoria where he sketched British prisoners of war and such incidents as came to hand. The Sphere reported, however, that an unfortunate telegram was sent to him through Germany: “London requests you to remain”. The Boer officials immediately suspected that something was wrong and Schönberg, who had been wounded in an earlier incident, was sent back to England via Lourenço Marques.


..
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sturgy

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Postcards 1 week 2 days ago #96197

  • Neville_C
  • Neville_C's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 1457
  • Thank you received: 2129
Here is the full account, as published in The Sphere on 16 June 1900.



The Sphere, 16th June 1900

THE RETURN OF OUR SPECIAL ARTIST FROM PRETORIA.

Some Account of the Adventures of John Schönberg.

In November last it occurred to the editor of this journal that it was desirable to illustrate the war from another aspect than that practicable from the point of view of the special correspondent with the British Army. THE SPHERE had even then three or four representatives at the seat of war, but Pretoria, the very centre of the enemy's forces, was for the time being almost an unknown land so far as English journalism was concerned. It would be necessary to have an artist in Pretoria; but how was this to be attained? No Englishman, it was clear, could possibly obtain admission.



It was remembered, however, that there resided in London an artist of considerable reputation and talent, who had worked for many illustrated newspapers at home and abroad, and who had been a special artist in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 for one of the London illustrated journals. Mr John Schonberg, as he is called in England, or Johann Schönberg, as he is known in his own country, is an Austrian subject who was born in Vienna but has lived in England for over twenty years. He has not, however, forgotten his native tongue, and this was a particular factor in our requirements in the crisis.

"Will you", Mr Schönberg was asked, "go to Pretoria for THE SPHERE? You are to set aside for the moment all interest in England; you are to forget the English language from the hour you arrive in South Africa; you are to carry an Austrian passport with you to Pretoria, and to speak nothing but German from the moment you arrive until the hour of leaving the enemy's country. You are to represent, nominally, a German newspaper if one will consent to accept occasional drawings from you".

Mr Schönberg consented. He sailed on the Guelph to Cape Town as special artist for Die Gartenlaube, for rumours were already afloat of the seizure of foreign steamers outside Lourenço Marques. The trip was of the pleasantest; many British officers were on board, who heard of Mr Schönberg 's somewhat precarious project with keen interest. A contingent of nurses who were bound for the front also vowed eternal friendship to THE SPHERE and its special artist from the moment that they met Mr Schönberg on board. One of our illustrations shows the way in which Tommy Atkins amused the fair sisters of mercy en route.

From Cape Town to Durban was an easy journey but then matters did not go quite so smoothly. Captain Percy Scott, Commander of the Terrible, to whom were entrusted the whole of the passenger regulations between Durban and Delagoa Bay was somewhat lacking in insight as to the bonâ fides of our special artist. The whole story of our intentions was told to him, and it seemed incredible that the most cautious of officials should have been unable to grasp the situation. The captain, however turned fiercely upon Mr Schönberg with the declaration that he was doubtless a German officer. "Your whole appearance", he said, "indicates that you are a soldier. You are perhaps just the very man to teach the Boers to put the fuses on the bombs". For the moment our artist was nonplussed; it seemed as if it were a case of "out and home again". But, fortunately, this was not to be. Captain Percy Scott having made up his mind that Mr Schönberg was on the side of the enemy gave him twenty-four hours to clear out. He did clear out, but not quite in the way that was intended. He boarded a French steamer, under the name of Jean Beaumont, and sailed away merrily, nominally to Beira, but he landed, of course, at Delagoa Bay. It was on the eve of departure that his vessel came alongside the Bundesrath at the moment it was being examined by English officials for contraband of war, an incident that has already been over-described.

From Delagoa Bay the journey to Pretoria was an easy one. There some difficulties arose from the incapacity of the Boer officials to understand what a special war artist might be. Mr Schönberg was nominally engaged for a German newspaper, and no communications with England were of course for a moment assumed. There would seem to have been no sufficient reason why the Austrian artist should not be sketching for one of his country's newspapers on the side of the Boers, but none the less his position provoked a good deal of criticism for the moment. A little later, however, the situation improved. First came an introduction to State-Secretary Grobler, who referred him to State-Secretary Reitz. At last a permit for sketching and drawing was granted by General Joubert's Secretary, Souza. An interview with General Joubert followed. Our artist met him in Modderspruit, surrounded by some two or three hundred burghers. Joubert he found to be a model of courtesy; he offered to place his carriage at our artist's disposal in order that he might sketch some particular scenes at a distance. The conversation was somewhat restricted because Joubert did not know German, and conversation was carried on through his secretary. An amusing incident of the interview was the fact that an English paper had just turned up in the Boer camp. A statement was there made that Joubert was marching at the head of 15,000 men, General Erasmus at the head of 6,000 men, Lucas Mayer at the head of 5,000. Joubert laughed heartily at the exaggeration. "Why do they not say at once that we have six millions?" he said.

After some two days' marching through the Boer field of operations Mr Schönberg returned to Pretoria. Here he continued his sketching of the British prisoners and such incidents as came to hand, many of his illustrations and photographs having already appeared in our pages. The general impression Mr Schönberg received from his stay in Pretoria was that the war would not be of long duration, partly on account of the immense division of opinion among the Boers as to their ability to withstand the British Army. Only a certain number of them, he says, had any heart in the work. Mr Schönberg's adventures were cut short by an unfortunate telegram sent to him through Germany as follows: "London requests you to remain". Boer officialism smelt a rat. Mr Schönberg had associations with London then! Officialism became inquisitive, and our artist hastened to Lourenço Marques, and is now back in England looking none the worse for his somewhat risky journey.







Comparison of the monogram on the postcard with that on a published work.


..
Attachments:
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rob D, Sturgy

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: djb
Time to create page: 0.756 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum