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Les Hommes d'aujourd'hui, 369




Person cited Joséphin Péladan, dit Sâr Mérodack Joséphin Péladan
Drawings by Alfred Le Petit


The collection of Les Hommes D'Aujourd'hui was founded in September 1878 by André Gill and Félicien Champsaur. The journal was first published by Cinqualbre (until 1883), then by Léon Vanier after two years of interruption. The last publication appeared in 1899. André Breton posessed 27 numbers of the collection.

The revue was originally inspired by the successful journal, Le Bulletin de vote, published in collaboration with the journalist Maxime Rude which was a collection of illustrated biographies, promoting the republican candidats in the legislative elections of October 1877. The collection of Les Hommes d'aujourd'hui strays from militant politics; each number (containing 4 pages) is devoted to a different contemporary figure belonging to the world of arts, literature or science. A colorful portrait of the spotlight celebrity is on each cover, followed by three pages of text, citations from the author, entire poems or various notable facts about the author's work. The texts are playful, and at times written in jest, composed of contemporaneous and fantastic elements.

When Léon Vanier took over the publication in 1885, he decided that more than one caricaturist would design and draw the portraits.  André Gill and Henri Demare were the artists of the very first portraits.  Among the artists that would join would be Alfred Le Petit, who signed the portrait of Joséphin Péladan for the issue number 369. The writer represented is draped in a large purple cloak which is an allusion to the princely title "Sâr" which he was consequently named after the publication of his most celebrated work, Istar.

Joséphin Péladan is often associated with his extravagant dress, which he himself would design and create.  Here, the representation of his person with his wide open eyes, the theatrical decor, as well as the many elements of his eccentric universe, occultism, dandyism and a certain flair for provocation all finely illustrate the personality he was so well known for.

Bibliographical materialBreton Sale, 2003, lot 1107. Paris, Librarie Vanier, 1890. In-4° broché.
ISSNL 1147-677X
Date of publication 1878
Publicationfirst publication
PublisherLibrairie Vanier, Paris
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 1107
Keywords, ,
SetJournaux et revues, [Journal] Les Hommes d'aujourd'hui
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