Revolution and Social Upheaval La Vision de Hugo
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--unit one
--unit two
--unit three
--unit four
--unit five


image banks
--l'assiette au beurre
 --La Vision de Hugo
 --Zola au Pantheon

 --Les Quatre Saisons de la Kultur  

"La Vision de Hugo" is a special issue of  L'Assiette au beurre  (No. 47,  26 fevrier, 1902) with  lllustrations by T-A Steinlen. A scathing indictment of a variety of social injustices, by one of the most politically committed and gifted artist-illustrators of the Belle Epoque,  the issue was intended to pay an ironic tribute to Victor Hugo on the centennial anniversery of his birth.  Ever since his exile under the Second Empire, Hugo had been perceived as the social conscience of France. The images show how his fight for justice and his championship of the poor and down-trodden in his career as a legislator have fared since his death in 1885. Among the noteworthy illustrations, we find the portrayal of the collusion of the church and the army with governmental corruption (page 3), the brutality of the colonial system (p.4), and perhaps most brilliantly, the lair of the malignant spider of priestly corruption. The plate is clearly an intertextual reference to Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris, with the Gothic cathedral transformed into a basilica. It is perhaps also intended as a bitter allusion to Montmartre's still recent Sacré-Cœur, a church built in “forgiveness” so as to "close the books" on the Commune. Anti-clericalism was a vastly popular theme in the leftist and anarchist journals of which l'Assiette  au Beurre was perhaps the most consistently brilliant example

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