The Economics of Illustration: The <i>Revue illustrée</i> in the 1890s
The Parisian Revue Illustrée (1885–1912), a middle-class periodical of broad circulation and sophisticated iconography, lets us examine the expansion of fin-de-siècle culture beyond the so-called ‘petites revues’, particularly in the years 1894–1903. Through this fashionable all-publics fortnightly, typically fin-de-siècle tales and songs on transient motives, replete with Art Nouveau images and ornamentation, reach bourgeois households. The article shows the niche category the magazine occupied through its copious and exciting iconography. Using unpublished correspondence and print material culture, it throws light on the ways its editors turned the more refined parts of the magazine into deluxe photo-mechanically produced books. The study focuses on two men, René Baschet, the Revue’s editor from 1889 to 1904, and Jérôme Doucet, his assistant editor from July 1897 to 1902, and two fin-de-siècle writers, Catulle Mendès and Jean Lorrain, as well as up-coming artists André Cahard, Henry Bellery-Desfontaines, Manuel Orazi, and Carloz Schwabe. The case shows that sophisticated illustration was a financial spur that came cheap while it supported the so-called ‘decadent’ writings. Further, with refined taste, numerous connexions to artists, and work for a Dutch publisher, Jérôme Doucet emerges as a key figure behind the scenes.
Copyright (c) 2016 Evanghelia Stead
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).