THE COMIC ART OF JOSEPH HÉMARD: Children’s Books

Hémard must have loved children as he made numerous drawings of them and also illustrated, and even wrote, books specifically intended for children. These include ABCs, coloring books, and fairy tales.

In Trente Tableaux d’Historie de France (1912), an early work of Hémard’s, he illustrated thirty events in France’s history, from the legend of the founding of Marseilles in 600 B.C. to the Paris Commune of 1871. The image below depicts King Louis IX rendering justice beneath the oak of Vincennes, apparently in the case of a badminton game gone terribly wrong.

Joseph Hémard, Trente Tableaux d’Historie de France. 1912. Collection of Farley P. Katz.

André Lichtenberger, Le Petit Chaperon Vert [Little Green Riding Hood]. 1922. Collection of Farley P. Katz.

For Pergaud’s delightful novel of warring armies of young boys entirely unaffected by civilization, La Guerre des Boutons [War of the Buttons], Hémard made the definitive illustrations in vibrant pochoir.

Louis Pergaud, La Guerre des Boutons. 1927. Pochoir. Collection of Farley P. Katz.

 

Curnonsky [Maurice Edmond Sailland], Deux Nocturnes. 1927. Collection of Farley P. Katz.

 

Charles Perrault, Contes de Ma Mère l’Oye [Mother Goose]. 1930. Collection of Farley P. Katz.

“ ‘And then I drew for books’: The Comic Art of Joseph Hémard,” curated by Farley P. Katz and Mike Widener, is on display Sept. 15 - Dec. 15, 2012, in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery, Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

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