PARIS Commune PRINTS Bertall 1871 -Antique-
Bertall was Albert d'Arnoux (1820-1882) illustrator, writer and photographer. During the Paris Commune of 1871, he made a series of 40 prints of individuals and character types, such as the lady arsonists shown.
After the fall of Napoleon III and the German seige of Paris, the citizens declared the city a free socialist state. When the emperor abdicated after the first disasterous engagements of the war, the wealthy and empowered ran to the country, so the defense of the city was left to the working class, artists and sympathetic intellectuals. They formed committees and ran things on a socialist democrat model (rather like the future soviet system). When the Germans left after a brief occupation, the new French Republic tried to reclaim the weapons the Parisians used to defend the city during the seige. The newly empowered underclass was reluctant to give up power and the commune was declared. It fell apart after two months due to its own factiousness.
Bertall published his prints first in 1871. They were re- issued in this handsome edition in 1881.
40 demi quarto color lithograph plates bound in leather. The covers are barely hanging on, but the plates are all clean.
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