ON FRENCH COLONIALISM
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Horace Vernet (1789-1863), Chasse au lion (Lion hunt), 55.8 x 80.5 cm, lead pencil and watercolor with white gouache highlights on bistre-colored paper, Prints and Drawings Office, Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts, inv. 77.986.0.139. (Detail)
The Conquest of Algeria Through Images
Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Staff: Carole Gautier and Cécile Pichon-Bonin
Translator: David Ames Curtis
Between 1830 and 1870, at the time of the French colonial conquest of Algeria, more and more representations appeared. Yet, with few exceptions, these representations camouflaged the sufferings on both sides, and hardly anyone but Tony Johannot directly evoked the brutality of colonization. Johannot fixed in place the image of the “smoke out” from the Dahra caves, where the location population was suffocated using a technique advocated by General Thomas Robert Bugeaud, whereas an artist like Horace Vernet, who was enlisted to paint heroic conquests, was not fooled about the violence he had witnessed.
Nicolas Schaub offers us an excerpt from his research, which will be presented in a forthcoming book that draws on his dissertation: L’armée d’Afrique et la représentation de l’Algérie sous la monarchie de Juillet (The Army of Africa and the representation of Algeria under the July Monarchy).