Artist: Louis Anquetin (signed in print)
Print: Lithographic poster
Dimensions: 23.4 x 31.5 in (59.5 x 80 cm)
Condition: Good/Fair condition - the poster has a bit of paper loss and minor tears on the edges, one light center fold, repairs on the back and light handling signs - please see pictures.
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Here is a very special advertisement made to promote the French newspaper L'Endehors (The Outside).
As I began to research the poster I found many interesting and obscure details on the newspaper, the founder and the time period.
The newspaper L'Endehors was founded in a cellar in Paris by the French libertarian writer Zo d'Axa in 1891. He is also known for being a journalist, antimilitarist, individualist and satirist. There are numerous anecdotes about him and I could not resit to include a few short ones.
Zo d'Axa or Alphonse Gallaud de la Pérouse (1864-1930) was a deserted military man (and womanizer) who fled to Belgium where he founded a ultra-Catholic newspaper. It is said that Zo, at that time, did not know whether be a anarchist or religious missionary! The legend has it that he had to flee Belgium because he insulted the Empress of Germany. Suddenly he was now labeled an international anarchist - a person many people wanted to put behind bars. After a few years on the run Zo got amnesty in France where he slowly but steady got involved with the anarchist movement which led to the opening of L'Endehors in 1891.
The newspaper was a individualist anarchist which appeared weekly with the voices of the protest writers of the time. In one article by Zo defends the French anarchist Ravachol for having placed a bomb at the prosecutor's office from where a trial had begun against fellow anarchists. But Zo also defends Ravachol despite him looting graves, robbed a corpse, murdered a "hermit" and many other things in the name of the ideology. During the time on the paper Zo was continually arrested for the papers violation on the limited freedom of speech. However, L'Endehors continued to operate until the paper was targeted by the "Trial of the thirty" - a show trial of anarchists in France in 1894.
After jail he published in another paper (La Feuille in 1899) with a antimilitarist and anti-capitalist point of view. One day during the French national elections Zo chooses a donkey as the official candidate. It was quite a scandal when Zo d'Axa drove though Paris in a chariot pulled by the white donkey - followed by a large crowd in a high mood.
Zo continued his work publishing his ideas - always on the run (or on the escape) and he saw most of the planet until he ended himself in 1930 in France. There is quite sparse information on his death but one article concludes that he was bored and generally pessimistic about the nature of the human. The poster actually tells about Zo's emotions.
The poster displays a group of persons and figures walking from a temple to what appears to be a dark forest (the mankind is on the edge of the abyss). Or perhaps it is not all mankind. One person looks like a capitalist, one looks like a soldier, one looks like satyr and one like a politician. Actually, every person Zo dislikes is on the poster. Notice the dog that niffles on the row and that the poster has painted cracks telling the story of the decay of society or the one who rules society.
The poster was made by the skilled French painter Louis Anquetin (1861-1932) who worked (and probably drank) with his friends Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Émile Bernard and Vincent van Gogh. The poster was made in the period 1891-94 when L'Endehors existed.
There is little doubt that this poster is quite hard to find and the poster only exists in a limited issue as the newspaper was quite small and only existed briefly.
Thanks for watching and please let me know if you have any questions.
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