Crashes and Collapses (Masters of Faits Divers – Painting I)

In 1863 a new kind of journalism with particular emphasis on sensational news stories, the so called faits divers, was introduced to the French press landscape by the foundation of the daily “Le Petit Journal”. It´s editor M.P. Millaud had coined the much quoted phrase “dare to be stupid”. In the 1890s this leading French penny paper had a circulation of a million copies and by 1884 it also included a weekly illustrated four page supplement. The pictorial news were created by some of the best illustrators of the decade and the dramatic style they established, merging documentary with phantasmagorial elements, became highly influential for magazine covers wordwide.

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