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 journal 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 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 to join was Alexis Axilette, who designed the cover of number 340 which represents Maurice Barrès: an elegant bourgeois with the sleek silhouette of smoke rising from his hand held cigarette. The composition, particularly somber, symbolically puts the author at the center of the page, a visual pun of Barrès' "The cult of myself". [translation: Pradial Perralta, 2018, thanks to him]
|Bibliographical material||Breton Sale, 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||Journaux et revues, [Journal] Les Hommes d'aujourd'hui|