Monday, September 29, 2008

Steinlen's La Vision de Hugo

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen lived and worked mainly in Paris. A prolific illustrator with a remarkably naturalistic drawing technique Steinlen recorded bohemian Montmartre's proletarians' lives (he was a Realist at the end of the century, but some of his drawings can't avoid kitchy "oh, the humanity!" melodrama). He's mostly known today because of his black cat advertising Le Chat Noir cabaret (Steinlen loved cats, by the way). During WWI he did propaganda against the Germans, embracing interventionism in Serbia, for instance...
Here's a great site dedicated to Théophile Steinlen:
Here you can read La vision de Hugo, for free:
La vision de Hugo is a denunciation of colonialism. French writer Victor Hugo is seen here as the heir of the romantic high ideals defended by the American and French Revolutions. If that's what their vision was, this globalized blood bath is what they achieved. Steinlen saw the lambs being slaughtered by arrogant Europeans in 1902 (let's not forget that the Paris Exhibition two years before had an incredibly racist human zoo), but he couldn't foresee how the wolves would attack each other a few years later provoking an equally huge carnage.

a double-page spread in La Vision de Hugo published in L'Assiette au Beurre # 47 (February, 1902).


Jorge said...

Parabéns Domingos! Acho que o teu blog vai ser um sucesso pelo número de visitas em tão pouco tempo. O teu perfil já foi visto 147 vezes. A tua fotografia é um achado... tinhas vinte e tal, não?

Isabelinho said...

Obrigado Jorge!
Pois é: tinha 23 ou isso :)