INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION FOR THE BOOK INDUSTRY AND GRAPHIC ARTS
May 6 - October 18, 1914
1914 was the 150th anniversary of the Königliche Akademie für Graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe (Royal Academy for the Graphic Arts and Book Industry) in Leipzig, and to celebrate that occasion, as well as to advertise Leipzig's stature as the pre-eminent book publishing city of Germany, the locals put on an international exhibition of books, book-making, and related arts - the Bugra!
This site displays poster stamps and postcards issued in conjunction with that event.
At left is the best-known image from the Bugra - its advertising poster. It depicts a naked youth riding a gryphon, and carrying a lighted torch in one hand, while he scatters flowers with the other. The designer was Walter Tiemann, type designer, typographer, painter, and teacher at the Leipzig Royal Academy.
I have been unable to find any explanation of why Tiemann chose this design, or what he meant it to symbolize, so can only guess. The gryphon occurs also on poster stamps of the Leipzig Royal Academy, so it may have been a symbol of that institution. The torch-bearer could be Prometheus, bearing light to mankind, which could be taken to symbolize the development of knowledge.
If you have some other explanation, please send it along - all suggestions are welcome.