Thursday, December 9, 2010

Petit Journal

Photographer Michael Wolf (above, at left) maintains a highly entertaining web site showcasing his projects and books. It also features scans from his splendid collection of cover illustrations from Le Petit Journal, a weekly newspaper published in Paris between 1863 and 1934, each issue striving for new heights of melodrama, as seen in the samples below.

Clearly somebody deliberately decided that each cover had to be structured on the principle of clear-cut violent vertical motion, either upward or downward. And the public at the news stands must have responded to this perpetual vertigo – it grabbed their attention and they put down their money. Journalism is very mysterious.