The artistic and social significance of Frans Masereel is mainly situated during and between the two World Wars. Because of his consistent pacifism he stayed as a political refugee in neutral Geneva from 1914 to 1918. In his woodcuts, he commented on the war and increasingly worked with sharp lines and expressive black and white surfaces. In Mon livre d'heures, his first graphic novel from 1918-1919, he shows another, more optimistic side of himself. On the one hand, the 167 woodcuts hark back to an age-old technique and concept (the title refers to the late-medieval books of hours), but on the other hand, they are surprisingly modern because of their almost filmic dynamism. The story is brimming with vitality and the artist portrays himself as a bon vivant, a do-gooder, an idealist and anarchist. For Masereel it was probably a way of shaking off the oppressive war years. It fitted in perfectly with the cheerful, optimistic 1920s that lay ahead.
|Preliminary drawing for 'Mon livre d'heures'
|ca. 1918 - ca. 1919
|Work currently not on display
|Art & Architecture Thesaurus
300055865 Symbolism (artistic concept) AAT
male sex; man
31A72 female sex; woman Iconclass
46C223 harbour Iconclass
46C23 boat propelled by man or animal Iconclass
46C25 steamship, motorship Iconclass
46C5 travelling; tourism Iconclass
46C51 stadia of travel Iconclass
46C512 departure ~ travelling Iconclass
46C5121 waving farewell ~ departure on a journey Iconclass
|School / Style
|Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : Tekeningen, pastels en aquarellen; Inventaris / Moniek Nagels. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 1988 (p. 28)
Do you have any suggestions, questions or information about this work?
Write us, firstname.lastname@example.org