Leibnix - The polymath in Mosaik
On the eve of the 300th anniversary of the death of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library will be opening a gallery exhibition devoted to the great scholar in his role as a principal character in the oldest and most popular German comic magazine "Mosaik". The mathematician, philosopher, inventor and historian Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born in 1646 in Leipzig and died in 1716 in Hannover, and is regarded as one of the great European polymaths. Reflecting his motto of "theoria cum praxi", his ideas were far ahead of their time. Yet his legacy is to be found not only in the sciences: his findings and inventions also inspired numerous comic book artists.
The exhibition focuses on the Baroque series "Gold und große Geister". Through the medium of drawing, the Mosaik comic book artists send Leibniz on fantastic adventures at sea and on land, in the Netherlands, England, France and in the Electorate of Hannover. Together with the three Abrafaxes - Abrax, Brabax and Califax - he meets the great and powerful figures of the time: the Tsar (and carpenter) Peter the Great, the Sun King Louis XIV and scholars such as Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton - Leibniz' greatest rival.
The elaborate drafts and original drawings from the publisher's archive offer not only an insight into how such an imaginative interpretation of the life and work of the scholar is created, but also illustrate the fact that even the most complex of ideas can be explained in not only readily understandable, but also highly amusing terms - a particularly successful example of simplification and cultural crossover. The original drawings and publications on display also highlight the creation process of the comics - from the manuscript and the first sketches through to the coloured drawings and the final printed Mosaik issue.
The exhibition - a collaboration with the Museum Wilhelm Busch – Deutsches Museum für Karikatur & Zeichenkunst, Hannover, organised as part of the Leibniz year - is funded by the city of Leipzig. A special volume entitled "Abenteuer Wissenschaft – Die Abrafaxe unterwegs mit Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz", containing Mosaik pictorial stories and an essay by the Leibniz expert Dr. Georg Ruppelt, has been published to coincide with the exhibition.
Last update: 07.06.2017