Gustave Doré’s Baron Munchausen

munchausen 1

Gustave Doré’s depiction of Baron Munchausen, c. 1880

Munchausen 2Another little frisson viewing Jahsonic’s blog (which I now consider a fortuitous meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table) was his post on Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). Just the other week I bought a copy of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen illustrated by Gustav Doré (pictured above).

Below is the harem scene from the 1943 Munchausen directed by Josef von Báky under the Nazi regime in Germany.

The George Melies 1911 Baron Munchausen’s Dream the same year that the leader of the Radical Socialist Party, Joseph Calliaux served as prime minister.:

Terry Gilliam’s Munchausen (with a bit of the sultan’s harem scene):

Two illustrations from Charles F. Horne (editor) Great Men and Famous Women, Volume 2 of 8 (1894):

gerome napoleon

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Napoleon and the Sphinx

dore great men

Gustave Doré, The Marseillaise

More of Doré ‘s Munchausen illustrations”

munchausen 3 munchausen 4 munchausen 5 munchausen 6 munchausen 7

Baron Münchausen (1720-1797) was a German nobleman noted for telling tall tales about the military campaigns he took part in against the Ottoman Turks. I have to assume that Doré’s caricatures were intended as anti-German ridicule, as he did the illustrations less than a decade after the Prussians sacked Paris after a long and horrific siege that ended January 28, 1871

It’s of interest to me that Doré chose to depict the armed masses (in The Marsellaise) and created satirical images of a German nobleman, whereas Gérôme was content fantasizing about French empire (after its collapse). Perhaps it’s because I’m living in a collapsing empire that’s still far gone in  its own fantasies of power. Of course, unlike French artists of the 19th century, I live in the age of absurdity. While Gérôme provided lush exotic beauties for the French ruling class of his day to admire, my ruling class prefers to bask in the glow of  Andy Warhol’s genius, with cinematic classics like  Blow Job (1964) and silkscreen flowers and cows, ad nauseum.

About trueoutsider

I'm an artist.
This entry was posted in 19th Century French painting. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gustave Doré’s Baron Munchausen

  1. I’m pointing people to your truly remarkable blog, Bart. I’m too lazy to actually write about Art, or formulate connections etc etc though I do so in my head all the time. Greatly enjoy your Blog.

  2. trueoutsider says:

    Thanks, Russell. I appreciate the support and am glad you’re enjoying some of the posts. There’s a Flaubert quote along the lines of “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” I find that to be the case. Hope you’re well!

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