Rudolf Wilke
Rudolf Wilke was a German caricaturist and illustrator known for his work for the journal Simplicissimus
Simplicissimus was a satirical German weekly magazine started by Albert Langen in April 1896 and published through 1967, with a hiatus from 1944-1954. It became a biweekly in 1964...

, to which he was invited to contribute by Albert Langen
Albert Langen
Albert Langen was a German publisher and founder of the satirical publication Simplicissimus.-Early years:...

. Before working for Simplicissimus, he had studied fine art at Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 and Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and had set up a studio with Bruno Paul
Bruno Paul
Bruno Paul was a German architect, illustrator, interior designer, and furniture designer.Bruno Paul was born in Seifhennersdorf, a village in rural Saxony, in 1874. His father was an independent tradesman, craftsman, and dealer in building materials...

. He had also contributed regularly to Die Jugend before he was recruited by Langen.

In 1904 Wilke traveled to Marseilles, Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

, Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 and Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 in company with fellow artists Eduard Thöny
Eduard Thöny
Eduard Thöny was a German caricaturist and illustrator known for his work for the journal Simplicissimus, to which he was invited to contribute by Albert Langen. Born in Brixen, he studied at the arts academy in Munich. His work for Simplicissimus included more than 2,500 pages of cartoons...

 and Ludwig Thoma
Ludwig Thoma
Ludwig Thoma was a German author, publisher and editor, who gained popularity through his partially exaggerated description of a Bavarian workday....


In 1906 Wilke, along with Olaf Gulbransson
Olaf Gulbransson
Olaf Leonhard Gulbransson was a Norwegian artist, painter and designer. He is probably best known for his caricatures and illustrations.-Biography:...

, Thoma, and Thöny, persuaded Langen to convert Simplicissimus into a joint stock company
Joint stock company
A joint-stock company is a type of corporation or partnership involving two or more individuals that own shares of stock in the company...

, thereby giving more power to the staff to control the journal's direction.
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