Fritz BOSCOVITS (Bosco)
(1871 – 1965)
Boscovits sometimes signed Fritz Boscovits J.
The “j” stands for junior, he sometimes signed like that because his father had the same name and was also an artist.
Boscovits was born in Zurich into an artistic family. His Hungarian-born father Friedrich Boscovits, a painter and illustrator himself, co-founded the satirical magazine Nebelspalter in 1875. His mother Mathilde Adam came from a well-known family of artists and lithographs in Munich. Fritz Boscovits first attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) in Zurich, then continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich from 1890 to 1896. Following a year in Florence, he returned home to Zurich in 1897 to establish himself in his career as a painter, caricaturist and graphic artist.
His very first poster in 1897 was for the Zurich Sechseläuten, a traditional annual festival celebrating the end of winter. All of his work for Sechseläuten was detailed, pictorial and monumental in style, to suit the prestigious event. He created further advertising posters, e. g. for a food hall, a restaurant, a bar, for a brand of coffee and for a fizzy drink. The majority of his commissions were on cultural themes - concerts and art exhibitions - occasionally including a message on art. Boscovits’ posters show the typical styles of the time, favouring vibrant colours, large flat planes, with or without black contours, and he also designed his lettering.
Throughout his life, he worked as a painter, exhibiting regularly at the Zurich Kunsthaus and in national exhibitions by the SPSAS/GSMBA. His main source of income proved to be the Nebelspalter. In the seventy years of his work for the magazine, he published thousands of humorous political and satirical drawings.
(Information courtesy of Regula Schmid / The Estate of Boscovits.)