Home » Product » [L’Eclipse]: La Carte de Tendre en 1869

[L’Eclipse]: La Carte de Tendre en 1869

  • Author: HADOL, Paul
  • Publisher: L'Eclipse, Paris
  • Date: 1869
  • Dimensions: Map: 31 x 25.5 cms / Sheet: 46.7 x 33 cms


Paul Hadol’s biting satirical map – Carte de Tendre en 1869 – a critique of Parisian society in the final year of Napoleon III’s Second Empire

About this piece:

[L’Eclipse]: La Carte de Tendre en 1869

[L’Eclipse, Deuxième année – No. 71bis (30 Mai 1869)]. Original wash colours to map only. Signed “Hadol” at lower left just outside border line. The map forms the first page of a complete four page issue, the rear fourth page complete with full set of woodblock caricatures, entitled “Extravagances, par A Humbert”. A few peripheral hairline nicks and tears due to relative fragility of paper, but overall a fine clean example.

Commercial artist, caricaturist and illustrator, Paul Hadol [1835-1875] worked for a number of the leading satirical magazines and journals of Paris in the fifteen years before the Franco-Prussian War, including Le Charivari, La Vie Parisienne, Le Journal Amusant and L’Eclipse. He also worked as a book illustrator and cartoonist.

He is perhaps best known for his famous collection of thirty biting zoomorphic caricatures of the principal figures of the Court Inner Circle & family of the Emperor Napoleon III, published at the time of the Franco-Prussian War and entitled La Menagerie Imperiale, composé des ruminants, amphibies, carnivores et autres  budgetivores qui ont dévoré la France pendant 20 ans.

In cartographic terms, he is also recognized for two highly popular political cartoon maps, the first published in 1870, the second in 1871, each depicting the countries of Europe in satirical national characterizations as France’s government faced war with Prussia, military defeat at Sedan & ensuing political collapse & capitulation, the imprisonment and exile of its Imperial family, and the violent explosion & suppression of the popular Paris Commune.

Hadol himself would survive these momentous events, to continue his work as a commercial artist, satirist and illustrator of books, magazines and journals in the new Third Republic, post 1871, only to die shortly afterwards, in Paris, aged just forty, in November 1875.

In this unusual map Hadol takes as his design template the original Carte de Tendre from Madeleine de Scudery’s gallant historical novel, Clélie, first published in Paris over three hundred years earlier, in 1654. He follows the layout of De Scudery’s original design, with a central river dissecting the image, in De Scudéry’s original denoted as the River of Inclination, here the River of Discovery (Reconnaissance), along whose course sail two boats, one lower centre with a sail labelled Lettres de Change, a second top centre, its sail labelled Mont de Pieté, suggesting thepossibility of personal transformation & change through self-discovery & suitable personal, religious and moral adjustment & re-appraisal. Hadol also follows the form of the two tributary rivers in the upper left and right of the map, in the de Scudery’s original named the Rivers of Recognizance and Esteem, here the Absinthe River (the popular French drink, viewed by many as one of the principal causes of rising French alcoholism) and the Pactole (a reference to classical legend, the Pactole being the river in Asia Minor in which King Midas purportedly bathed to cure himself of the accursed golden touch, with the result that its waters were filled with nuggets of gold.). Like De Scudéry’s map, the waters into which the three rivers flow at the top of the image are named the Dangerous Sea, and as with de Scudéry, beyond these lie the shores of Unknown Lands, to which which Hadol adds the subtitle Ile de la Bonne Femme (Good Wife Island), now a seemingly illusory and long-lost feature of this updated Pays de Tendre. Hadol cleverly moulds the shape of de Scudery’s original map into the form of a large Heart, one that is self-evidently broken asunder, and into two very different and contrasting halves.

The inside page provides a contemporary commentary and leader by the Eclipse columnist Eugene Vermersch, on Hadol’s updated version of Mlle de Scudéry’s map. Vermesch [1845-1878] was a prominent poet and social commentator, who, in this capacity would later play an active part in the events of the Paris Commune, eventually fleeing into exile, in Switzerland and then London, in the wake of the Commune’s most violent excesses in 1871.

Vermersch notes how times have changed since the galant era of de Scudéry and that with those changes, men and women have lost their ability to interact and inter-relate with each others, not least in matters of love. As he notes :

Maintenant on n’aime plus, on ne badine meme plus, on se contente, pour me server d’un expression de l’auteur de Clélie, de brutaliser ensemble, à tant par l’heure comme pour un fiacre.

Nowadays one no longer loves, one also never banters playfully, we are content, to use an expression of the author of Clelia, to mistreat each other, calculating by the hour, just as if travelling by hackney cab.

He continues:

On Hadol’s map, in this Pays de Tendre in the year of our Lord 1869, a new sun shines, the soft, beautiful, sacrosanct Pièce de cent sous (a coin equivalent to five old French francs), fixed immutably in the sky, like an established star. And just as if we were in Persia, at the point we are now, all women love the sun….All the swarming cities of this country might be called Hoax, Stupidity, Greed, Swindling etc etc…we know that the female inhabitants of this country bear the honorary title “Grue” [Stork, colloquial euphemism for a prostitute. It is interesting that Hadol depicted the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III as a grue (stork) in his zoomorphic caricature for the Menagerie Imperiale in the following year] and, if so identified, are likely be found at the Quai d’Horloge (N.B. the ground-floor prison in the Prefecture of Police on the Quai d’Horloge was generally reserved for prostitutes during this period)…What is more Hadol has taken care to commit Love to the tomb, shown located in a corner adjacent to the Lake of Affectation, and if by chance Love – such an important ghost – should ever begin to stroll again through this land, it will not be Venus’s scarf that will veil her eyes, but the patch of Robert-Macaire (a frightening fictional villain, created by author James Rousseau in 1842 and carcicatured by Daumier. Renowned for his distinctive pirate-like eye patch, “robert-macairisme” became an byword for chicanery, dishonesty and an unhealthy depravity, Rosseau himself noted that Macaire represented “l’incarnation de notre époque positive, égoïste, avare, menteuse, vantarde…essentiellement blagueuse”). This abject race of decadent dandies (petits-crevés), whose passport is signed “Sun” flit around gallantly in these regions which they never usually leave except to escape to the Islet of Senility (Ilot de Remollissement), to the Sandbank of Misery (Banc de Misère) or the Reef of Lourcine (Ecueil de Louricine – a reference to an infamous 19th Century Parisian hospital where patients were treated for syphilis and venereal disease), unless however they make their way to the Suicide Reefs (Brisants de Suicide) to blow their brains out….those that have any…..

So Hadol’s map is a critique of the empty affectation and the base & mercenary motivations of contemporary Parisian society of the late 1860’s. Here everything is measured in monetary terms, hence the scale of “lieues d’amitié” (leagues of friendship or kindness) denoted in 20 centimes pieces. Love has been buried and its monument is to be seen in the lower right corner, in a plot that has been rented in perpetuity. It lies adjacent to the Lake of Affectation (Lac de la Pose) which, with elegant swans preening themselves on its waters, defines the right hand side of this riven land of the Heart. Here all is wealth, empty posing, carelessness and affectation. Truth and sincerity (Sincerité) are a sham, concealed behind a outer public carapace of dandified wig, false teeth, copious layers of make-up, support stockings and padding in all the right places. De Scudery’s Grand Esprit, the starting point on the journey to Tenderness on Esteem, becomes a mere excuse to indulge one’s joint passion for smoking. Billets Doux are not the delivery of a collection of carefully crafted love letters but the presentation of a thick wad of thousand franc notes from Cupid’s little messenger. De Scudery’s Petits Soins (Little cares) are in fact the exact opposite – carelessness in the extreme as a couple sit at dinner preparing for a feast of utter self-indulgence and gourmandising. De Scudéry’s galant Empressement (extreme attentiveness) is reduced to the emptiness of outward appearances – the ensuring that not a hair is out of place or pleat of one’s tailcoat too badly creased as one prepares for an important social outing to theatre or ball. Likewise De Scudéry’s Grands Services (Great Services) become merely an opportunity not to offer service in friendship but merely display of one’s best and most opulent dinner service ! Over the River Pactole via the Bridge of Chic, Sensibility is reduced to a couple’s shouting match and Tenderness, De Scudéry’s ultimate destination, is itself transformed into the Comptoir du Tendre – literally cashier’s desk of Tenderness – the bar of a high-class brothel where the Madam of the house seemingly dispenses miniature love hearts, surmounted by candles (of lust ?) to an array of attendant male clients.

The flip-side of Hadol’s broken heart of the Pays de Tendre is equally depressing, with poverty, loveless-ness and mercenary venality close at hand at every turn. In the lower left corner, groups of women emerge from beach-side bathing machines to immerse themselves in the Sea of Debt. Inclination depicts a husband as a closed purse and literally made of money (his arms and legs formed by rows of coins), his wife attempting to force him open; Serments (Promises) are reduced to a row of dancing carrots (perhaps a pun on the word serment / sement = sowing); Fidelity depicts one single woman accompanied by five men of different nationalities, including a Turk, a Prussian and even a kilted Scotsman, Probity depicts a woman cheating at a game of cards; De Scudéry’s Exactitude depicts a man waiting in vain in the winter cold for a meeting or assignation with his lover; Gratitude is a kick up the backside given by a woman to her lover, seemingly on receipt of a gift of a large sack of money; and de Scudéry’s Propos galants  (Gallant remarks) are represented by a Javanese Dictionary, perhaps suggesting that men and women no longer communicate coherently with one other nor even speak the same language.  So the would-be traveller crosses the River Absinthe, accompanied by the fully loaded prison carriage of the well-known Charenton Asylum (The famous satirical artist André Gill [1840-1885], a close colleague of Hadol’s, who was actually working alongside him at L’Eclipse at this time, would in fact end his days in Charenton). So onto De Scudéry’s Great Heart (Bon Coeur), a exchange between a well-dressed male client and a masked courtesan, and the second of Hadol’s Tendernesses, here an anything but tender encounter as a woman throws a tureen of soup over her seated male companion. And in the waters beyond, amid the dangerous seas and isles & shoals of the derelict petits-crevés, awaits the final kick in the teeth for the downtrodden poor – the Bailiffs’ Reef (Recif des huissiers) where boatloads now arrive in their distinctive top hats, papers in hand; others sit crouched around the shores waiting in anticipation, yet another eagerly waves his seizure order – all ready to enforce the removal of what scant goods and chattels may still be left to these impoverished survivors of this all too ironically-named Carte de Tendre.