George Montbard I: A communard´s career in London

George Montbard (real name: Charles Auguste Loye) was one of the most brillant and versatile illustrators of the 19th century. The staunch republican started his career as a political caricaturist during the imperial rule of Napoleon III. He worked for “La Rue”, the legendary antiautorical magazin of his friend Jules Valles. The anarchist author assembled a group of contributors like Gustave Courbet, Andre Gill, Alphonse Levy and Georges Pilotell, which only four years later shaped the artistic core of the Paris Commune. Montbard fought in the Montmartre street battles during the so called “Bloody Week” in May 1871. After the fall of the Commune he managed to escape to London, where he pursued a second career as a special artist for various international periodicals. Vincent van Gogh knew various prints by him, mainly picturesque landscape motifs, but he payed a special attention to his depictions of the Irish unrest, which he collected together with other Irish motifs in a special portfolio.

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