20th CenturyArt DecoFine ArtSwissWoodcut

Moon Landings 1966 – Woodblock by Fritz Urban Welti with Montaigne Quote

Image inspired by the first successful unmanned Lunar landings by the Soviet Union and the United States in 1966 with a German version of a famous quote by the French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne: “Even on the highest throne in the world, we are still just sitting on our ass.”

(French original Sur le plus haut trône du monde, on n’est jamais assis que sur son cul.)

In the year 1966, the United States and the Soviet Union both made successful uncrewed soft-landings on the Lunar surface.  The Luna 9 spacecraft, launched by the Soviet Union, performed the first successful unmanned soft Moon landing on 3 February 1966, followed by NASA’s Surveyer 1 which made the first U.S. lunar landing on May 30, 1966 and returned 11,000 photos of the moon.

Dimensions: Sheet approx 14.5 x 19.5 cm (full sheet) – Shown larger than scale below.
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 New Years 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.