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
300015571 cityscapes (representations) AAT
temple, shrine ~ Greek religion
24A sun as celestial body Iconclass
25I city-view, and landscape with man-made constructions Iconclass
25I12 prospect of city, town panorama, silhouette of city Iconclass
25I141 street Iconclass
31A71 male sex; man Iconclass
31D12 youth, young man, adolescent Iconclass
41A1 civic architecture; edifices; dwellings Iconclass
41A14 urban housing Iconclass
43B13 walking, hiking (recreation) Iconclass
46C5 travelling; tourism Iconclass
46C51 stadia of travel Iconclass
46C513 'en route', traveller under way 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