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Throughout his career Orlik was commissioned to paint portraits and this was a an important source of income for him. But besides the commissions he took delight in drawing and making etchings and lithographs of his acquaintances and friends. In 1920 the Verlag Neue Kunsthandlung, Berlin, published the book Fünfundneunzig Köpfe (95 Heads) in which there are reproductions of 95 drawings of contemporary personalities. This book was so successful that in 1926 Neue Fünfundneunzig Köpfe (new 95 Heads) was published by Bruno Cassirer reproducing a further 95 drawings. These books have had several reprints. Sitters as diverse as Josephine Baker and Albert Einstein are depicted, amongst other famous figures from all professions.

Important artists (Max Klinger, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Slevogt, Bernhard Pankok, Lovis Corinth, Max Liebermann, Marc Chagall), musicians (Bronislav Hubermann, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Gustav Mahler, Fritz Kreisler), actors (Tilla Durieux Josephine Baker, Asta Nielson), politicians (Leo Trotsky) , writers (Thomas Mann, Luigi Pirandello), scientists (Albert Einstein) and in fact people from all walks of life were portrayed in paintings, drawings and print. Some of the prints were issued in very small editions and often the sitters took up all the impressions to present to their friends, while prints of some of the subjects went into repeat editions due to their popularity.

In 1924 the Rembrandt Verlag, Berlin, produced the Gerhard Hauptmann Bildnis portfolio of 8 lithograph and 2 etching portraits of the famous theatre director by Orlik and for Max Slevogt’s 60th birthday in 1929 Orlik published a portfolio titled Slevogtiana of 12 lithograph portraits of his great friend.

Orlik was commissioned by the Berliner Galeriewerk in the 1920s to make series of etchings reproducing old master paintings by Boticelli, Mategna and also portraits of Beethoven, Leibnitz and J.S. Bach. These were pedestrian works except for the Bach for which Orlik made a preliminary lithograph which has some charm and he tried to portray Beethoven by reflecting his genius as a musician with less severity than the composer had previously been depicted.