The art of Sibylle Ruppert

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Hommage à KS.

The web isn’t the best place to see works by this extraordinary German artist, most of what’s available tends to be tiny thumbnails which give no impression of the detail in her drawings and paintings. Ruppert is another artist who’s been brave enough to try illustrating Lautréamont’s Maldoror but I’ve yet to see anything of her interpretation. Given the nature of both book and pictures one might easily pair any number of her intense and erotic works with Lautréamont’s words.

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La Décadence.

These are some of the better online samples, the last one coming from her official site (now defunct, unfortunately) which also includes some recent black and white work but little else. The curious are advised to search book dealers for print portfolios or exhibition catalogues.

See also:
Sibylle Ruppert, 1942–2011
Sibylle Ruppert revisited

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Tear out (1984–87).

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The fantastic art archive

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Maldoror illustrated

Maldoror illustrated

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Les Chants de Maldoror by Corominas (2007).

There seems to be no escaping from HP Lovecraft just now, the illustration above having been created for a PDF publication entitled CTHULHU, Cómics y relatos de ficción oscura, produced by these people. The Cthulhu-zine seems to be unavailable but you can see more of these splendid illustrations, based on Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror (1869), at Dorian Gray BD. The artist, Corominas, has an additional blog showcasing more commercial work.

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Les Chants de Maldoror by Jacques Houplain (1947).

Lautréamont’s delirious masterpiece isn’t exactly the easiest book to illustrate but the Corominas drawings certainly capture some of its ferocious energy. The Surrealists were big Maldoror enthusiasts, of course, and did much to establish Lautréamont’s current reputation. Salvador Dalí produced a series of engravings for a Skira edition in 1934 although his drawings look less like illustrations of the text than a rifling of the artist’s usual preoccupations. The picture above by Jacques Houplain is one of a series of twenty-seven engravings produced for a French edition in the 1940s. More recently, Jean Benoît created (among other things) a Maldororian dog and there’s even been an attempt at a comic-strip adaptation from Hernandez Palacios. On the whole I prefer the Corominas pictures but then I’m biased towards that style of drawing which owes something to all the comic artists and illustrators influenced by Franklin Booth.

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The etching and engraving archive

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Franklin Booth’s Flying Islands
Carlos Schwabe’s Fleurs du Mal
The art of Jean Benoît