Claude Gueux

  • Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923)

  • 1902
  • Lead pencil drawing
  • MVHP D 501

There are many examples of the denunciation of the death penalty, a theme which is recurrent in many of Victor Hugo’s novels. In 1902, on the order of Paul Meurice, Steinlen vividly evokes the torment of the condemned prisoner in Claude Gueux (published in 1834), showing his head through the hinged two part yoke of the guillotine, accompanied by Hugo’s appeal: “This common man’s head should be cultivated, cleared of debris, watered, fertilised, given light and morals, it should be used; then you will not need to cut it off”.

Notice's author : Claire Lecourt Aubry