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David A. Beronä

Frans Masereel’s Picture Books against War

“Should everything perish, all the books, the photographs and the documents, and we were left only with the woodcuts Masereel has created, through them alone we could reconstruct our contemporary world.”—Stefan Zweig When asked about the Belgium artist Frans Masereel, the two thoughts that immediately come to mind are woodcuts and war.  I do not know an artist who was so wedded to the woodcut in expressing his loathing of war. Although this theme prevailed in many of his books, an examination of his woodcuts in Debout Les morts (Arise Ye Dead, 1917) as reprinted in this issue of THE REVELATOR, provides a vital connection to his subsequent anti-war books; and there were many, as we will discover. Masereel was born in 1889 in an upper-middle class family from Blankenberghe, Belgium.  He showed interest in drawing and remembered a dislike of war from an early age: I can still remember … Continue reading