With its “Caricatures” exhibition, the Maison Victor Hugo in Paris offers us a wonderful presentation of the French media in the 19th century through 180 caricatures focusing on Victor Hugo. If we may think that focusing this exhibition on one man doesn’t enable a fine analysis, Victor Hugo is the ideal relevant case.
This man of letters has been the most caricatured man of his time, for his current affairs, his political stances, his commitment… from 1830 to 1885, his daily life will be put on the front page by the era’s greatest caricaturists: Daumier, G. Doré, Cham, Gil, Lepetit, Nadar, Roubaud…
Through the 180 caricatures of the exhibition chose in the museum’s collections, we discover that Victor Hugo was idolized for his literary work, his plays, then criticized for his political commitment in favor of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon III), who was elected President of the Republic in 1848.
He’ll fall into disfavor for journalist and press artists who will draw him cold and bad in the years 1848-1849, but will return more a warrior than before when the power will bring discredit on him because of his opposition to Napoleon III’s coup since the latter expects to keep the power at the end of his mandate!
When he left in exile on December 11, 1851, the violent repression accompanying the late Second Republic and the beginning of the Second Empire forbid any mention of Victor Hugo. This is due to the censorship – nicknamed “Anastasie”. Yes, the repressive laws (September 1835, June 1848, December 1851, February 1852) muzzled the press about political questions and the situation got better in 1868 to finally see the freedom of the press being assured by the law of July 29, 1881. It won’t prevent several artists to talk about Victor Hugo in the press, taking great care of underlining his literary affairs abroad, a war to bypass the censorship and pay tribute to this man of letters until he died!
A wonderful exhibition more historic than artistic to be discovered at the Maison Victor Hugo!
From 13 September 2018 to 6 January 2019
Maison de Victor Hugo
6, place des Vosges
75004 Paris 4
tarif réduit: 6 €
tarif plein: 8 €
Horaires : 10h-18h du mardi au dimanche, et certains jours fériés
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