Heinrich Kley and the Edenic Relationship of Humans with Animals

Self-portrait of Heinrich Kley next to his "Eiswalzer".
Self-portrait of Heinrich Kley next to his “Eiswalzer”.

Well known in his heyday, in Germany, as an “industry artist” specialized in painting manufacturing scenes, Heinrich Kley (1863 – 1945) became appreciated in the USA for his imaginative, dreamlike and sometimes darkly humorous pen drawings often depicting anthropomorphized animals interacting with humans.

Walt Disney, besides building a vast collection of his works, drew inspiration from Kley for some Disney productions such as Fantasia.

The lovely and evocative drawing we have chosen for this t-shirt merrily reminds us of the Edenic relationship of humans with animals when, as noted by Alfredo Cattabiani in “Calendario”, none of them ate meat:

“Behold” said God to Adam and Eve “I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat.”

[A. Clarke,The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments (New York:  T. Mason G. Lane, 1837), 46.]

That is not to say that this is what Kley had in mind, only that it can be read like that.

Read it as you please. And, above all, wear it.

Heinrich Kley's Interspecies Dance t-shirt

Click to see Heinrich Kley’s Interspecies Dance t-shirt for men→ and for ladies →