MYSTERIOUS CHINA. Presented By the Java -China- Japan- Line.
Born in 1908 into an artistic family (his father was a painter, his mother an actress), Schiff studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.In 1930, at the invitation of his cousin, Schiff visited Shanghai and fell in love with the city and its people. He ended up living there for 14 years, until 1947 when he moved to Buenos Aires.
Schiff had worked as a newspaper cartoonist in Vienna and continued this line of work in Shanghai. Soon he became famous for his amusing caricatures of the city's inhabitants, from beggars and expats to sailors and sing-song girls.
In 1934, he began a fruitful collaboration with photojournalist Ellen Thorbecke (who was the wife of the Dutch ambassador to China). Like Schiff, Thorbecke was also a Sinophile. Together they created a series of illustrated travel books about China's major cities: Peking Studies (1934), Shanghai (1938), and Hong Kong (1938).