"Drumont et Vacher," (Drumont and Vacher)

Item Description

La Feuille was an anarchist newsletter written and edited by the firebrand and political impresario Zo d’Axa (Alphonse Gallaud de la Pérouse), who once launched a campaign to elect a donkey to the Chamber of Deputies. The editorials of this anti-militarist and anti-capitalist publication sought to defend France’s underdogs: the workers, their unions, and Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Here, pro-Dreyfusard illustrator Louis Anquetin fires a shot in the war of the presses, taking aim at anti-Dreyfusard journalist Edmond Drumont by pairing him with Joseph Vacher, a French serial killer and Christian zealot known for his eccentric dress and rabbit-fur cap. Rallying the two around a crucifix entwined with a viper, (short-hand amongst anti-clerics for the religious orders) Anquetin suggests that both hateful men found justification for their rampages in a sometimes complicit Catholic church.