Tag Archives: illustration

RIP Tomi Ungerer (1931 – 2019)

Fornicon (1969)

Tomi Ungerer was a French illustrator known for his children’s books, as well as his satirical and erotic work for adults.

I attended an interview with Ungerer in 2014 and wrote this small piece in Dutch after the occasion and also did a post on Tumblr[1].

I’ll never forget the moment at he end of the interview when he started singing “Die Gedanken sind frei” and many of the German-language invites joining in.

Fornicon (1969) [above] is a collection of 60 prints of scenes of funny machine-aided sadomasochistic male domination. When I say machine-aided, think Rube Goldberg machine. Box sets of these prints are being sold for as high as 3,000$. Books can be had for as little as ten dollars.

Ungerer’s humor is quite like that of Roland Topor.

The red splodge representing the reign of Ivan the Terrible

The red splodge representing the reign of Ivan the Terrible in Gustave Doré’s ‘The History of Holy Russia’

Via via I discover Gustave Doré‘s The Rare and Extraordinary History of Holy Russia (1854), an illustrated book with 500 drawings executed by Doré when he was just 21.

Doré was a genius, perhaps only equaled by Grandville (thirty year’s Doré’s senior).

The History of Holy Russia features a number of experimental and metatextual elements which are as surprising as the black page in Tristram Shandy.

The red splodge above represents the reign of Ivan the Terrible.

The caption reads:

“Suite du règne d’Ivan le Terrible. Devant tant de crimes, clignons l’oeil pour n’en rien y voir que l’aspect général.”

English translation:

“Continuation of the reign of Ivan the Terrible. Faced with such crimes, let’s blink our eyes to not see anything than the broad picture.” (tr. J.W. Geerinck)

There is another world, but it is in this one

Plantes marines, coquillages, madrépores[1] (Aquatic plants, seashells and madrepores) is a plate from Un autre monde (Another world) by French illustrator Grandville (1803 – 1847).

The illustration alludes to man copying the patterns of nature, like crystallization and petrifaction.

The title of this post “There is another world, but it is in this one” is attributed both to W. B. Yeats (1865 – 1939) and French poet Paul Éluard (1895 – 1952) (as “Il y a un autre monde mais il est dans celui-ci”).

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Previously on Tumblr: Crystallised Minerals[2] by Alexandre Isidore Leroy de Barde.