Heinrich Lefler (1863 -1919) was an Austrian painter, graphic artist and stage designer. He also illustrated numerous folk stories and fairy-tales. He studied at the academies of fine arts in Vienna and Munich. Later he became a member of the society of visual artists (Kuenstlerhaus) and, together with his brother-in-law Joseph Urban, a founding member of the Hagenbund. In 1897 he was in charge of the Vienna court Opera's stage design under its director, Gustav Mahler. A pioneer of modern Austrian Graphic design, Lefler created posters, advertisements, catalogues, banknotes, theatre costumes and stage designs. He also painted murals on villas and hotels and illustrated many books for the booming turn-of-the-century publishing scene.
In 1897 Lefler illustrated Die Prinzessin und der Schweinehirt (The princess and the swineherd), a fairytale by Hans-Christian Andersen.
Two years later, in 1899, he illustrated an Austrian Calendar in Jugendstil with sacred and festive themes.
In 1900, Lefler and Urban illustrated Die Bucher der Chronika der drei Schwestern (The Book of Chronicles of the Three Sisters) by Johann Karl August Musäus and published by die Verlag von J.A. Stargardt, Berlin. Musäus (1735-1787) was a popular German author and one of the first collectors of German folk stories, most celebrated for his Volksmärchen der Deutschen (1782–86) which indirectly influenced nineteenth century fantastical literature. The tale itself can be traced through Perrault and Basile back to Venice and Crete. It tells the story of a king who gives away his three daughters to an enchanted bear, an eagle and a whale in return for a piece of gold each. Years later their younger brother sets out to rescue them.