COLOUR PLATES 1891-1903
|1891/2 GALLERY ONE|
|1891/2 GALLERY TWO|
|1891/2 GALLERY THREE|
|1893 GALLERY ONE|
|1893 GALLERY TWO|
|1903 GALLERY ONE|
|1903 GALLERY TWO|
Many years ago I bought three large volumes of this periodical, with a colour image on the front and another on the back of each single issue. Gradually the paper became more brittle. I scanned everythig I could, except portraits of ambassadors and senior clergy in fin de siecle France.
There is a characteristic sensationalism permeating the images
What makes the imagery fascinating is the stony imperturbility of the action. You either retain your sang froid or explode with violent expression. There seems little in between. Social hierarchies are preserved at all cost. Criminals get their just deserts and there are huge explosions.
Yet the imagery in detail, concealed in the fabric of the compositions, leads to the inadvertent. That's what is satisfying. This is the world of Raymond Roussel (particularly the group portraits of Dahomiens) not Gustave Dore. The plates are easily transposed into the garish world of FANTOMAS.
This is not me being dismissive. Every now and then, an image comes along that causes a sharp intake of breath for its sheer professionalism and insanity of surface.
See if you can find La Prise de Thiassale (War in the Forest) with its superbly wrought fronds and tendrils reminiscent of Georges Mathieu and Tachiste Painting (but better of course).
I have scanned them at a large size to allow the closest of scrutiny of each image. I think it is worth it.