January 16, 2003

The City

There follows a selection of images from Frans Masereel's 'novel without words' Die Stadt (The City).

Masereel (1889-1972) was a Belgian-born artist known for his strong pacifist and socially-committed views, who, by working in the medium of woodcut prints, hoped to make his work accessible to the common man.

Die Stadt is a remarkable sequence of images which, collectively, tell the story of a day in the life of a 1920s metropolis. They variously illustrate moments of love and hate, birth and death, toil and revelry, bustle and quiet, luxury and squalor, day and night.

Die Stadt and Masereel's other wordless novels could be seen both as precursors of the more recent phenomenon of graphic novels, and as inheritors an older tradition of picture-books printed for an uneducated public.

Click on the thumbnails to see a full-size image. The entire sequence of 100 woodcuts can be found here...

Posted by misteraitch at January 16, 2003 03:42 PM