2017年9月17日 星期日

Frans Masereel 1889-1972:The First Woodcut Novelist

羅曼·羅蘭原著《約翰·克利斯朵夫》(傅雷譯)是我初二讀的第一本大河小說。約45年過去,看到《約翰·克利斯朵夫》(濃縮本),梁祥美譯,台北:志文,2004(49幅由 F. 馬塞瑞爾畫的插圖)。
有些印1500張..... 我希望有機會找到這附666張木刻的版本!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

A librarian in Watson Library highlights one of her favorite artists: Frans Masereel, a Belgian graphic artist who is considered by some to be the creator of the woodcut novel.

Frans Masereel: The First Woodcut Novelist

Associate Museum Librarian Tamara Fultz discusses the gorgeous woodcuts of Frans Masereel


Frans Masereel: The First Woodcut Novelist
August 23, 2017

Tamara Fultz, Associate Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Frans Masereel, Landschaften und Stimmungen: 60 Holzschnitte (Munich: K. Wolff, 1929).

What defines our attraction to a particular artist? Education and experience can offer us opportunities to see an artist's work, but whether we like or truly appreciate it is dependent on individuality and personal taste. In my own work, I get to see a wide variety of art in books—from ancient to contemporary—and there are always some artists that I prefer over others. This post is a reflection on one of my favorites: Frans Masereel (1889–1972).

Masereel, a Belgian graphic artist, is considered by some to be the creator of the woodcut novel. There is a certain warmth and linear clarity to woodcuts that I find appealing: everything from the woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) to the woodblock prints of Japanese artists in the ukiyo-e style. Masereel's woodcut novels fascinate me because in each one he creates a narrative using strictly images, no text—although there may be an introduction by Thomas Mann or some other great contemporary. For a modern-day equivalent to this kind of work, you might be familiar with the graphic novelist Eric Drooker, whose artwork in Flood! was heavily influenced by the novels of Masereel.

Thomas J. Watson Library has a number of Masereel's woodcut novels. Below are some images that I will let speak for themselves, just as Masereel would have done.

Frans Masereel, Landschaften und Stimmungen: 60 Holzschnitte (Munich: K. Wolff, 1929).

Frans Masereel, La Sirène: Vingt-Huit Bois Gravés (Paris: P. Verms [Coulouma], 1932).

Frans Masereel and Thomas Mann, Jeunesse (Zurich: Oprecht, 1948).

Frans Masereel and Thomas Mann, Jeunesse (Zurich: Oprecht, 1948).

Department: Thomas J. Watson Library

布蘭肯貝赫,比利時,1889年 - 法國阿維尼翁,1972年







羅曼·羅蘭原著《約翰·克利斯朵夫》(傅雷譯)是我初二讀的第一本大河小說。約45年過去,看到《約翰·克利斯朵夫》(濃縮本),梁祥美譯,台北:志文,2004(49幅由 F. 馬塞瑞爾畫的插圖)。
有些幅印1500張..... 我希望有機會找到這附666張木刻的版本!




他刻畫在他們的現代文明隔絕的人,而在同一時間提供了行動的可能性。在他的木刻作品的製作,他等系列作為一個男人的激情(1918年)的25張圖片,80工程漢堡和臉部週期的100市(1925年)。從1947年到1951年,他在藝術和工藝的薩爾布呂肯最近創辦學校領導繪畫班。在瑞士,1953年他創辦了Xylon公司 - 木材雕刻的國際協會。第二次世界大戰的結束和1968年間,他發表了一系列代表某一主題的變化版畫。他是眾多展覽的主題和藝術的幾個學院的成員。他的名字出現在機構,如法朗士·麥綏萊勒中心,在卡斯特萊,比利時和Masereelsfonds,促進它最初是關聯到比利時共產黨,這在當今具有獨立進取處置弗拉芒語實體的負責人。

地址上市:30街宮3 Faucons,阿維尼翁。

Blankenberge, Belgium, 1889 — Avignon, France, 1972

Graphic artist, wood engraver, illustrator

Working as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines, Masereel met Stefan Zweig in Switzerland in 1917 when he was fighting for peace together with other intellectuals from all over Europe.

“A solid, sweet figure, a grave look behind the spectacles, like Verhaeren, only wears thick corduroy clothes, in the style of a labourer. I was attracted to him from the first minute...” “Marvellous, I especially like his serious manner and the way he listens. I never expected so much from someone...” “...A comfort [in these difficult days]: so clear, pure, so good. I’m aware that there are few people around me that I love. He is nothing but goodness, energy, the most wonderful combination.”

Notwithstanding his hard, rough appearance, Masereel was the dearest character to appeared in the diaries. In his letters to Friderike he didn’t hide his affection for this vigorous artist, brimming over with goodness.

Masereel is considered by artists of the calibre of Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman to have invented the graphic novel through his large collection of “novellas without words”, produced during the pacifist crusade. The group came together around two newspapers, Demain, founded by the mercurial Guilbeaux (a Communist who converted to anti-Communist) and La Feuille, where Masereel published daily woodcuts about the horrors of war.

The central figure was Romain Rolland, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915. Also present were Russian revolutionaries such as Lenin and Trotsky, awaiting the fall of the Czar, the Irishman James Joyce writing in English but intensely anti-British in spirit, the composer Ferruccio Busoni and many others.

Masereel illustrated the monumental Jean Christophe, by Rolland, with 666 woodcuts, and also Zweig’s pacifist novella Compulsion, using the figures of Stefan and Friderike as models for the two protagonists. For a collection of complete works in Russian (1926) he created a faithful portrait of Zweig which has been reproduced hundreds of times to this day. He also illustrated the works of other great authors, such as Émile Zola and Thomas Mann.

Over the next 23 years they were very close in Paris, Nice, Ostend and Salzburg, until 1940 when Zweig left Europe for the New World. And even once safe on the other side of the Atlantic, Zweig tried obsessively to obtain for Masereel entry visas for Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and the United States. All in vain: perhaps because he was too anguished and depressed.

During the German occupation he hid in small towns in the French countryside. He wasn’t Jewish, nor a Communist, his socialism was no different from that of Rolland. Neither of them was hounded by the Gestapo. In Zweig’s memoirs he is mentioned on three occasions and in his first collection of essays, Begegnungen mit Menschen, Büchern und Städten [Encounters with People, Books and Cities], Zweig included a piece about Masereel.

He portrayed people in their isolation in modern civilization, while at the same time offering possibilities for action. In his oeuvre of woodcuts he produced series such as 25 Images of a Man’s Passions (1918), the 80 works The Face of Hamburgand the 100 of the cycle The City (1925). From 1947 to 1951, he lead the painting classes at the recently-founded School of Arts and Crafts in Saarbrücken. In Switzerland in 1953 he founded Xylon – International Society of Wood Engravers. Between the end of the Second World War and 1968 he published a series of engravings representing variations on a particular theme. He was the subject of numerous exhibitions and a member of several academies of the arts. His name appears at the head of institutions such as the Frans Masereel Centre, in Kasterlee, Belgium, and Masereelsfonds, an entity promoting the Flemish language which was originally associated to the Belgian Communist Party and which nowadays has an independent progressive disposition.

Address listed: 30 Rue des 3 Faucons, Avignon.