Description: Color lithograph poster of the Barrison sisters. The quintet performed at Les Folies Bergere. Their signature song was Do You Want To See My Pussy? A promotional photograph featured the Sisters each with a live kitten under their dress. Very rare: only three copies are known to exist.
Provenance: L'Estampe Originale
Advertising Poster: Theatre du Peuple
Description: This is an advertising poster for the People's Theater on Avenue de Clichy in Paris. It was opened by Henri Beaulieu, a popular stage actor, on November 14, 1903. The theater was an avant-garde experiment. Its seats were very inexpensive. They ranged from fifty centimes to two francs and a hundred tickets were distributed each week to poor children and workingman's societies.
Unfortunately, success did not follow this noble experiment. The Bourgeoisie were reluctant to attend shows for which they could not reserve seats. Others were repelled by its low ticket prices. "How good could it be if its seats are so cheap?" But the worst enemies of the People's Theater were the people themselves. "M. Beaulieu, we're as good as the bourgeois, you know!"
Provenance: M. Henri Beaulieu
Wilbur Wright a Auvours
Description: Color lithograph of Wilbur Wright behind the controls of a Wright Model A Flyer. In 1908, the Brothers signed a contract with a French company and flew demonstration runs in Le Havre.
Description: This is an early black and white woodcut which probably dates to late 1914 or early 1915. It is very likely one of H-P's first works in the medium. (In this article, I describe my skepticism with woodcuts dated prior to 1914)
Before the First World War, Hermann-Paul's graphic arts were mostly done as lithographs, etchings and dry points. When war broke out, metal became scarce and the artist turned to wood.
In this scene, he depicts another chapter in the Rape of Belgium. German soldiers hide behind women, children and clergy as they return fire on the Belgian army. Any sympathy Hermann-Paul had for the international brotherhood of workers, dissolved when Germany invaded Belgium. His position on the war drew harsh criticism from former allies on the political left.
Provenance: Private Collection
Les 4 Saisons de la Kultur #1
Description: Hermann-Paul was fifty when the German army launched its 1914 invasion of France. Its route to Paris was through neutral Belgium. News of German atrocities spread like wild fire. Most tales were exaggerated in order to produce sympathy for the neutral nation. In 1915, Hermann-Paul released a series of prints that depicted the early stages of the war. The medium was wood as metal was now prized as an implement of death. The series was ironically titled, The Four Seasons of Culture. The well executed series helped cement Hermann-Paul's reputation as a graphic artist but it drew criticism from the political left.
Les 4 Saisons de la Kultur #2
Description: As the first plate makes clear, this is no longer the Culture of Geothe and Schiller. The once highly cultivated German was now a destructive Boshe. His skin is a aglow with the flames he puts to Belgian houses. Where he once constructed beautiful Dresden, he now lays waste to Liege.
Les 4 Saisons de la Kultur #3
Description: In a series of six plates, Hermann-Paul devotes two to rape. To his critics, the attention he gives that crime is disproportionate to its occurrence. Here the Boche invades the home. The assault takes place in the master bedroom. He is dressed in field gray. To ensure no question about his identity, a pickelhauben lies in the foreground. Thin lines in the black plate enable the artist to achieve an excellent array of texture.
Les 4 Saisons de la Kultur #4
Description: The number of perpetrators grows. Rape is no longer an isolated crime. The landscape is barren and the Germans resemble the pitch fork wielding mob of yore. After its success on the ground, the German army takes what it considers its reward. Her clothes hang from her body as if she had been taken before. Her dress falls and impedes her ability to flee. She'll be taken again.
Les 4 Saisons de la Kultur #5
Description: The Germans are seen systematically enriching themselves with Belgian possessions. In this plate, they demonstrate far more care for objects than they did for people. There was no accountability during the ransack, now the officer checks dry goods against his list.
Les 4 Saisons de la Kultur #6
Description: During the 1890s, Hermann-Paul made his name as a harsh critic of the French army and military expansion. In this series, he simply moved his criticisms from France to Germany. To many on the left, this series was little more than propaganda designed to heighten tensions and prolong the war. How do you negotiate peace with the Kultur depicted in these plates? The series does seem out of character. As the war goes on, his true personality begins to reappear.