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Tusche, tone and stone: 19th C. news illustration

L'Assiette au Beurre #90: December 20, 1902
A special issue on "The Boss" (Le Singe)



Right: You have turned the page and the parade continues: Select any figure to enlarge. Captions in French are given below each individual or group, and refer, left to right, to the French Republic, the figure of Liberty in the Phrygian cap holding the candle to 'illuminate the world of the civil servant.' The Civil Servants: "August Potacolle," who keeps the spitoon of the Elysee, makes 50,000 francs -- 250,000 with tips; "Joseph Prudhomme" as President of France, and a group of three men, two of whom are judges, the other referred to as The Torturer for obvious reasons. The Prudhomme character is a Babbitt-like Everyman, the epitome of unthinking mediocrity, created by Henri Monnier (1805-1877), a cartoonist and satirist.

Left: After the civil servants come Les hommes politiques, the political men, recast as a pack of dogs, chasing one another in an attempt to grab the minister's portfolio.
Select image to enlarge





Above: Triomphe de Monsieur Qui-de-Droit
This double page spread continues the notion of a parade seen in the earlier pages. Select any part of the image you would like to see enlarged. Here, ministers and department heads all but sanctify the ink, blotter, sealing wax, and files required for official documents. The letters in the trash appear to be unopened, and dossiers (files) move through the system at a snail's pace.


Left: Willette suggests a view of the countryside: Ici on a renoncé à toucher les impôts -- where the population have renounced taxes.

Three more images complete this issue of L'Assiette au Beurre:
The boss in the office -- the caption translates "It is forbidden to sit in the presence of the boss, except in his lap"

The game keeper, who explains to the man he has caught that his boss will give him a premium; and finally, the back cover, "Le Singe n'est pas toujours un Bourgeois", or, The Boss is not always a Capitalist.
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