1872 Yves and Barret Pictorial Map of Europe after the Franco-Prussian War

L'Europe en Ce Moment - Fantaise Politico-Géographique. - Main View

1872 Yves and Barret Pictorial Map of Europe after the Franco-Prussian War


A proto serio-comic map of Europe just after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War highlighting Europe's changed political atmosphere.


L'Europe en Ce Moment - Fantaise Politico-Géographique.
  1872 (dated)     13 x 20.5 in (33.02 x 52.07 cm)


This is an 1872 Yves and Barret pictorial map of Europe featuring caricatured sketches of each of the nations of Europe. Depicting the continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caspian Sea and from Scandinavia and the Shetland Islands to the Mediterranean Sea, personifications of each nation illustrate the map, creating connotations in the viewer's mind before they even read the accompanying text boxes. Newly united Germany of course dominates central Europe in the form of the Kaiser, who is illustrated sprawled out across what the French must have considered to be an ominously large amount of continental Europe. He is shown reclining against a cannon and artillery shells and accompanied by a gigantic sword and holding an empty beer stein and smoking a large pipe. A much smaller German soldier is illustrated holding the puppet strings of many other European countries, including Italy, Spain, and Austria. France, which had just lost the Franco-Prussian War to the newly-United Germany, is depicted in the form of Marianne, the French national symbol, who is being tended by several smaller officials and military men. The men are trying to get her to hold back her anger at having German guns pointed at her from Strasbourg (Alsace and Lorraine were annexed by Germany after the Franco-Prussian War) and to form a new government following the chaos of the defeat and the unrest and chaos of the Paris Commune. England is shown as a man in armor decorated with the Union Jack and a book for a shield. He is surrounded by the Bible and bales of cotton. Spain, Italy, and Austria are depicted as contentedly going about their business, per the German soldier's wishes, but the Austrian are illustrated holding scissors, possibly in an attempt to cut ties with the now overly powerful Germany. Russia is a froze wasteland with their onion-domed churches and a land where everything happens 'because the czar wants it to be'. The Turks are depicted lavishly, as a single man surrounded by elegantly dressed women attending to his every whim.
Publication History and Census
This map was engraved by Yves and Barret and published in the July 6, 1872 publication of La Vie Parisienne. We are aware of two examples in institutional collections, which are part of the David Rumsey Map Collection at Stanford University and Persuasive Maps: the PJ Mode Collection at Cornell University. This map is incredibly rare on the private market and we are aware of no other colored examples.


Yves et Barret (fl. c. 1870 - 1890) were French engravers active in the late 19th century. They engraved political cartoons and other images for French periodicals, including La Vie Parisienne. This partnership was known for creating works using gillotage, a now obsolete lithographic process wherein a drawing was made on or transferred to zinc and then dusted with resin, which adhered to the drawing. The resin then acted as an acid-resist when the entire plate was immersed in acid, creating a relief block that could then be inked and printed from. This printing technique was popular with newspapers, as it was completely compatible with blocks of type. Learn More...


Yves et Barret, 'L'Europe en Ce Moment - Fantaise Politico-Géographique.' La Vie parisienne, July 6, 1872.     La Vie Parisienne (1863 – 1970) was an illustrated French culture magazine that also supplied the name for the celebrated Jacques Offenbach opera La Vie parisienne. The expression vie parisienne began being used during the Bourbon restoration, but gained popular use following the publication of Honore de Balzac’s novel titled Scenes de la vie p-parisienne in 1834. The magazine’s founder, Marcelin, wanted to take advantage of the popularity of the phrase when he decided to found a magazine. The subtitle for La Vie parisienne was: 'Moeurs elegantes, Choses du jour, Fantaisies, Voyages, Theatres, Musique, Modes' (Elegant traditions, Things of the day, Fantasies, Travels, Theatre, Music, Fashion). A weekly magazine, La Vie parisienne helped to liberalize and diversify the press. By 1905, due to a lessening in censorship, La Vie parisienne began to publish more and more erotic imagery. This publication was very popular among the soldiers in the trenches during World War I, even publishing requests for ‘wartime godmothers’, which also translates as pen pals. By the 1930s, cinema had become a major part of the publication, and by the 1940s, pin-ups began making regular appearances.


Very good. Even overall toning. Light wear along original centerfold. Text on verso.


Cornell University, Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection, 2082.01. Rumsey 8073.000. OCLC 953572701.