- Category : Art-Photography
- Type : GP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Cycles 2
German illustrator and photographer.
Zille became best known for his (often funny) drawings, catching the characteristics of people, especially "stereotypes", mainly from Berlin and many of them published in the German weekly satirical newspaper Simplicissimus.
He was the first to portray the desperate social environment of the Berlin Mietskasernen (literally "tenement barracks"), buildings packed with sometimes a dozen persons per room who fled from the rural regions to the expanding industrial metropolis during the Gründerzeit only to find even deeper poverty in the developing proletarian class.
His special talent was the scathingly humorous portrayal of what were in reality quite unfunny life conditions of handicapped beggars, tuberculous prostitutes, and menial labourers, and especially their children, making the best they could of life and resolutely refusing to give up.
Zille did not consider himself a real artist: he often said that his work was not the result of talent but merely of hard work. Max Liebermann nevertheless promoted him. The Berlin "Common People" paid him the greatest respect, and very late in life his fame culminated when both poverty and freedom of expression reached new heights in the roaring twenties, with the National Gallery buying some drawings in 1921, the Academy of the Arts honouring him with a professorship in 1924, and Gerhard Lamprecht making the film Die Verrufenenbased on his cartoon characters and stories in 1925.
He died 9 August 1929.