Der Breite und der Schmale Weg
Third Edition 1890/91 by Paul Beckmann
Lith. Anst. W.Menges Stuttgart (Private Collection)
The picture was designed by Mrs. Charlotte Reihlen, of Stuttgart, in 1862; and, at her request, was painted by Conrad Schacher, a young Artist, also of Stuttgart. A Dutch Edition was produced in Holland in 1867.
In the photo below on the left side are scenes from the third Stuttgart edition 1890/91 and on the right side an English edition 1883. The English edition is based on the Dutch 1867 copy and we can see the changes. One of these Dutch copies was brought from Amsterdam in 1868 by Mr. Gawin Kirkham. and from an enlarged copy of which he has lectured well over a thousand times. It was 20 years before he finally came to know the history and origins of the picture.
Here are some extracts below from a biography of the life of Gawin Kirkham by Frank Cockrem.
...............The task, renewed during many succeeding years, of discovering the origin of the picture, was at length concluded to Mr. Kirkham's unmeasured satisfaction. To Mrs. Reihlen, the wife of a Stuttgart merchant, the design was traced, and to her the original publication of the picture in German was found to be due. Hardly had the grave closed over the honoured remains of that saintly lady ere, in the city of Amsterdam, Mr. Kirkham's eyes beheld for the first time the Dutch edition of her work. To him the hand of God transferred the object of her prayer and hope, and with marvellous faithfulness he held the sacred trust.
Gawin Kirkham's visit to Stuttgart, January 1890 to lecture on the Broad and the Narrow Way for the thousandth time:
.........................................................Another joy lay in his track. It had been arranged that he should first proceed to Stuttgart, there to deliver, literally for the one thousandth time, his lecture on the picture " The Broad and the Narrow Way." This was truly a notable occasion! Audiences, each numbering a thousand, gathered on two consecutive evenings in the Concert Hall; Mr. Adolf Reihlen, son of the devoted lady whose consecrated skill had given the picture to the Church and to the world, presiding; Pastor Israel, the instrument of its issue in Holland, where Mr. Kirkham found it, was also present; representatives of the family of Herr Schacher, the young and now sainted artist who had assisted Mrs. Reihlen, looked on with grateful tears; and not least, Mr. Charles L. Young, Mr. Kirkham's old and dear friend, helpful, as on hundreds of previous occasions, in " pointing" the picture these were the accompaniments to an occasion of thrilling interest, and, we may hope, of abiding blessedness.
"GAWIN KIRKHAM: Open Air Evangelist."
A RECORD AND A TRIBUTE, BY FRANK COCKREM. (Secretary of the Open-Air Mission.)
© 2018 Peter N Millward
Gawin Kirkham's "History and Explanation of the Picture "The Broad and the Narrow Way" has left for posterity a noble and informative help for our understanding of the origin and story of this picture for future generations.
From an historical point of view and the important message the picture brings - We need to preserve this information and history before it becomes lost. By no means has it been easy understanding the subject with so many copies and editions over the years. I am sure many have their our own particular memories and stories about this picture. Mine began many years ago, when I first saw this at the home of my great auntie - Florence Swindells, a very gracious and godly lady. She would often recount stories of children visiting her home to learn music, who would see the curious picture and were drawn to it. One little girl, she recalled would go home afterwards to look up the scripture verses. Some years later Auntie Florence kindly gave the picture and the "History and explanation" to me.
Over the years many people have asked about the Broad and the Narrow Way picture....and so I decided to investigate and find out the history. I make a record here to help all who are interested to have a better understanding. Hope this helps.
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