Burkhard Pfister studied painting in Karlsruhe with Professsor Kalinowski. He completed his master studies at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 1978 he spent a year travelling the east. On bicycle he traversed the Balkans and lived several months in Turkey where he was fascinated by cities, streets and museums of the region.
Since 1979 he has worked as an artist, a graphic artist, and - in cooperation with Claudia Hentrich – as a furniture artist in his own workshop in Bremen and Rentwertshausen-Thuringia. Since 2005 he has been working on the illustrations for the Gilgamesh epic with the idea of making it a comic book.
But the creation developed differently – it is now better described as a dramatically illustrated book. There are now over 400 drawings, presented sequentially and at the same time individually. The layout was done in collaboration with Kerstin Heymach in the style of a graphic novel.
Burkhard Pfister is fascinated by the severity and perfection of ancient pictures but they are used here only as references and stylistic elements because this Gilgamesh is here and now.
The text was written by Ursula Broicher based on the most recent translations of the work. It tells the story anew and accompanies the drawings hand-in-hand. Ea, the God of Wisdom relates it, and though this differs from the original, it is true to the story and epic of Gilgamesh as it was written over 3000 years ago.