L'Album, not for the meek


At the turn of the last century, the development of color lithography led to the emergence of many French periodicals. Gil Blas illustré, Le Rire, L’Assiette au Beurre and Le Figaro are some of the best. My favorite, L’Assiette was loosely based on the German magazine Simplicissimus and devoted each issue to a single topic.

The French publishing house of Jules Taillandier decided to get into the game and issued the short-lived periodical titled simply: L’Album. Each issue was devoted to the work of an individual artist, with a centerfold section offering several double-page spreads and commentary by Lucien Puech. The imagery was uncommonly graphic and sexual in nature, possibly the reason it did not last very long. The work of painters Adolphe-Léon Willette (1857- 1926) and Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931) was featured, along with Emmanuel Barcet, Marcel Capy, Jacques Villon, and many other.



L’Album. Paris: Montgredien et Cie., no. 1-[18]; [1 juin 1901]-[1 nov. 1902]. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2005-0585