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dinsdag 17 november 2015

"France Weeps" Delacroix’s Marianne cartoons by Daryl Cagle

We’ve been receiving a torrent of cartoons from around the world about last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris. I’ve been disappointed by most of the cartoons so far, many of which contain graphic pools of blood, depictions of monsters and broken Eiffel Towers. I think the first few days after an event like this are a time to express sympathy, so I went with a weeping Marianne, the French symbol from the Eugene Delacroix painting La Liberté Guidant le People (Liberty Leading the People). 

I struggled to think of what I wanted to draw, so I wouldn’t be drawing blood, candles, monsters or Eiffel Towers like the rest of the crowd. I like Marianne as a symbol for France and I like that the French embrace her as their own symbol. It was interesting to see so many of the cartoonists drawing the Statue of Liberty this weekend, the statue was a gift from France but she is a symbol of America.
Marianne has some problems: first, she may not be recognizable enough when she is seen out of the context of the Delacroix painting: second, her face exists only as a profile facing left, which can be a little limiting; third, she has one bare breast (or arguably, two bare breasts) and American editors are reluctant to print bare breasts – even though her bare breast is necessary to define who Marianne is in the cartoon. I suppose it is fitting that I had to struggle with this one.
Here’s another Marianne cartoon, a double breasted version. This one was popular in France where they find President Francois Hollande rather annoying.



Marianne is much easier to deal with in a goofy drawing. Here’s a nice Marianne by Angel Boligan, drawn after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.


Jordanian cartoonist Osama Hajjaj drew a weeping Marianne with an Eiffel Tower in a pool of blood (perhaps he could have thrown in a couple of candles, terror monsters and the Statue of Liberty to make it complete). Osama obscured Marianne’s profile and bare breast issues, and he lost her beret. hmm. OK.



This Marianne is from Taylor Jones, after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
















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