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 review 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 including citations from the author, entire poems or various notable facts about the author's work.
When Léon Vanier took over the publication in 1885, he would finalize the element of caracature for the series (André Gill and Henri Demare were the consecutive authors of the first portraits). Among the graphic artists that would join, would be the painter Émile Schuffenecker, from the school of Pont-Aven. In 1872 he would meet and become friends with Paul Gauguin, until they had a falling out around 1890. In number 440 of Les Hommes d'aujourd'hui, Émile Schuffenecker signed the portrait of Gauguin who is drawn as the tortured artist - a response, perhaps, to the stark portrait that Gauguin painted of the Schuffenecker family a few years prior. Émile Schuffenecker seems to have attributed to Gauguin the attitude and the attributes of which the last had disgused his wife in the painting of 1889: no longer a somber hood upon the head but now with jet-black hair, the same troublesome look in the eye and the same vengeful hand. The portrait that Gauguin painted of a submissive husband is now a ridiculous artist appearing on the cover of number 440 without resentment.
|Bibliographical material||Breton Sale 2003, lot 1107. Paris, Librarie Vanier, no date, In-4° soft cover.|
|Date of publication||1878|
|Publisher||Librairie Vanier, Paris|
|Breton Auction, 2003||Lot 1107|
|Keywords||Graphic Arts, Monographs, Reviews and Journals|
|Set||[Journal] Les Hommes d'aujourd'hui|