Charles Lucien Léandre]
[February 13, 2011
The Monsters of Society , L´Assiette au Beurre No. 79, 4 Octobre 1902
Following the traces of Honoré de Balzac, whose “Comédie humaine” was modelled on a theory of zoological species, Charles Lucien Léandre drafts a dire panorama of the Parisian Society as a freak show. His special edition for Samuel Schwarz´ anarchistic magazine “L Assiette au beurre” represents a late apocalyptic variation of a long tradition of caricatural menageries or bestiaries, which was shaped by graphic cycles of Grandville, Gustave Doré, Paul Hadol and Alfred Le Petit. Léandre was one of the last students of the historical painter Alexandé Cabanel, whose lucid kind of “L’art pompier” is reflected in many of the monstrous sceneries.