Who's Who - Raphael Kirchner

Erotic illustration by Raphael Kirchner Raphael Kirchner (1876-1917) was an Austrian illustrator whose erotic 'pin up' sketches proved popular during the First World War not only among his compatriots but also among British and French servicemen.

Kirchner was born in Vienna in 1876 and attended the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in the city.  The turn of the century brought Kirchner to Paris where he remained until the outbreak of war in August 1914 when he moved to the U.S.

Although Kirchner produced a wide variety of postcards he was chiefly renowned during the war for his erotic illustrations, the forerunner of 'pin up' girls.

He produced in excess of 1,000 postcards during his short lifetime.  His "Geisha" series was particular successful, being reprinted four times to produce a total of 40,000 copies.

He died on 2 August 1917 in New York.

Click here to browse a selection of Kirchner's wartime work.

A 'Gearsman' was a tank crew member responsible for managing the gears.

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Who's Who