Tuesday, April 10, 2012

L'Assiette-au-Beurre

Launched in 1901, this French illustrated weekly publication was a forum for speaking out against anything and everything! Each issue during its 11 years of publication was devoted to one topic or illustrated by one artist.

According to Lisa Reisman of Lisa M.Reisman et Cie:
  Common themes in L'Assiette au Beurre were anti-clerical, antimilitarist, anti-capitalist, anti-civil servant … essentially, anti-everything. L’Assiette au Beurre had a definite anarchistic reputation. Remarkable not only because of the ideas that it expressed, but especially because of the quality of its illustrations, L’Assiette au Beurre was an extraordinary laboratory of graphics, colors, and social commentary.

L'Assiette au Beurre literally means "the butter plate", a reference to the upper classes of Paris. The publication attracted some of the finest artists of the Belle Epoque era as contributors. Some issues were extreme in their satire. Others were just funny. All of them addressed some of the social and political issues of the time. The advent of WWI changed the attitudes and focus of the French people and L'Assiette au Beurre ceased publishing in 1912.

We have one copy of this marvelous magazine. It is the February 1902 issue (No. 44) which is devoted to "Sportsmen" and illustrated by Xavier Gose. The satire is subtle, the images are humorous and the whole series is great. 
Cover of February 1902 Issue (No. 44)

Chauffeurs (Auto Racing)

Bicyclistes (Bicycling)

Boxeur Anglais (English Boxing)

Tauromachie (Bullfighting)

Le Croquet (Croquet)

Escrimeurs (Fencing)

Pesche a la Ligne (Fishing)

Retour des Courses (Horse Racing)

Patineuses (Ice Skating)

Les Guides Montagnards (Mountain Climbing)

La Pelota (French version of Jai Alai)

Foot-Ball (Soccer)

Lawn-Tennis (Tennis)

Yachting (Sailing)
 For additional information on L'Assiette au Beurre, follow this link.

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