Maiden Voyages: June 2023

Bayard’s Iconic Image: Pip did a short post a while ago on the iconic image of Cosette from Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. What he discovered in the course of this research is that Émile Bayard published a book Le nu esthétique : l’homme, la femme, l’enfant which is a collection of nude photographic studies used by the artist to produce much of his work. It was just discovered that the French site Gallica has collected volumes which can be downloaded either as pdf files or paged through one jpeg at a time. Volumes 1 & 2 have been collected together into one book. And if you click on the link that says ‘See all documents from the same set’ there are four links, Pip suspects it will contain most if not all of the series.

Role of Butterfly in Portrayal of Psyche: A reader had a question regarding the use of butterfly wings in images from Pip’s Psyche series. In response, Pip sent me a link on the folklore of butterflies that should clarify things.

Pathologizing Intimacy: You have probably heard stories like this a hundred times, but one of our readers was kind enough to dig this one up for us. Not only was this a scandalous story which caused an outcry in Oberlin, OH, but the story was so compelling, the author Lynn Powell decided to write a book about it. The incidents in question took place before 2000 and the book, Framing Innocence, was published in 2010.

More Album Covers: Album covers were really more Pip’s thing so I can’t say much about the albums, but I am happy to share any discoveries passed on to me by readers. Here are some covers for: Dolphin, Lustro, Niurose, an album of Stories for Rainy Days and even an album offering a common-sense guide “Explaining sex to your little girl”!

Carnival Kids in Tokyo: As a kind of follow-up on a random image posted on Pigtails, a reader has found a cache of photos [link broken; see comment below] of some of the child participants. Given the perception of Japan as a conservative culture, these kids are baring an awful lot of skin for a public setting.

Delightfully Ironic: Pigtails in Paint has a reputation for opposing censorship. A reader was kind enough to share this t-shirt on the subject.

Émile Antoine Bayard: Les Misérables

I’m proud to say I have read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.  If you’ve ever tackled it, you’ll know why I’m proud: it is a dense (in more ways than one) and lengthy novel, and so not an easy book to get through.  All the characters are well-drawn, but of course the character most apropos to this blog is Cosette.  The book follows her life from infancy to young womanhood and is in many ways as much about her as it is about Jean Valjean.  Several artists have illustrated the book, including Louis Moe, Pierre Jeanniot, and the incomparable Lynd Ward, but of course the most famous illustration for the book is this one done by Émile Antoine Bayard, as it was later used in the poster design for long-running musical version of Les Mis and thus became an iconic image.

Émile Antoine Bayard – Cosette

Wikipedia: Émile Bayard