20th CenturyArt DecoFine ArtSwissWoodcut

The Hare and the Hedgehog – 1966 Woodblock by Fritz Urban Welti

A hedgehog makes its way slowly through the grass, while a rabbit dashes off over a hillside.  Probably an illustration of the Brothers Grimm story of the Hare and the Hedgehog (“Der Hase und der Igel”), in which a Hedgehog and his wife conspire to fool the rabbit into believing that Mr. Hedgehog has won the race.

“When the hare, in full run, arrived at the bottom of the field, the hedgehog’s wife called out to him, “I’m already here!”  The hare, startled and bewildered, thought it was the hedgehog himself, for as everyone knows, a hedgehog’s wife looks just like her husband.”

The story does not end well for the Hare: “The hedgehog ran the hare to death on the Buxtehude Heath, and since that time no hare has agreed to enter a race with a hedgehog.”

Dimensions: Sheet approx 14.5 x 19.5 cm (full sheet)
Woodblock / Woodcut print on Japan Paper

This woodcut is one of a series commissioned by the Welti family transport business, Welti-Furrer, of which Fritz Urban’s grandfather was a founder.

From a limited edition of 20 designed in 1966 as birthday cards for fortunate clients of the Welti-Furrer company.  We have several sheets from this edition and the number within the edition may be different from the number shown.

Fritz Urban Welti

Zurich 1901 - Zollikon 1974

Fritz Urban Welti was a painter and a master of the woodcut print. He was born in Zurich in 1901 and died in Zollikon near Zurich in 1974. He studied in Cologne, Vienna and Paris and was well known for his book illustrations. He was the nephew of the famous Swiss symbolist artist Albert Welti.

The Woodcuts on this page were executed as commissions for the Welti family transport business, Welti-Furrer, of which Fritz Urban's grandfather was a founder.

There is a very old tradition in Switzerland that companies and societies give a print ((Neujahrsblatt) to their clients and associates at New Years. Welti created these "New Years Print " engravings for the company beginning in the early 1930s. In some years a second card was also created that could be used as a birthday card for clients.

We are pleased to be able to offer signed limited editions, handprinted by the artist, of some of the woodblock prints below.