A musical riddle dedicated to the Viennese artist and doctor


Dr. Anton Elfinger




kindly supported by Stadt Wien Kultur 2022

REBUS will be presented for one month in April 2023 by Chris Jankas' MIDI ORCHESTER as a sound sculpture installation at the Analog Mania Festival in the EU Capital of Culture 2023 Timisoara (Romania).


Dr. Anton Elfinger, born on January 15, 1821 in Vienna, showed his artistic talent at an early age. At the age of 15, he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Anna, a school for painting, where he was taught bone and muscle studies based on anatomical illustrations as well as the preparation of medical specimens.


During his medical studies he became known for his "satyrical pictures" under the pseudonym "Cajetan". He regularly published "costume pictures", drawings of actors in their roles, as well as caricatures of well-known contemporaries, provocative rebuses and socially critical pictorial contributions in the first Viennese general theater newspaper. He also produced other humorous pictures, such as a "people's calendar" and a card game (tarot) that dealt with political themes. His illustrations conveyed socially critical and political content, highly explosive in the days of the Viennese Vormärz.


By now a doctor of medicine, Cajetan actively supported the revolution of 1848 with his satirical drawings and pictures. Its suppression in the fall of 1848 also meant the end of his career as a caricaturist. From this point on, at the latest, Dr. Anton Elfinger alias "Cajetan" concentrated his work on medical illustration.


He died at the age of 43 on January 19, 1864 with a "pulmonary hemorrhage" from tuberculosis.