“La France aux Français,” (France for the French)

Item Description

Though in April 1895 Dreyfus had been sentenced to solitary confinement on Devil’s Island (where he remained until his September 1899 retrial), the Affair continued to incense La Libre Parole’s anti-Semitic staff. This cover represents Drumont’s daily paper, La Libre Parole, and its weekly supplement, La Libre Parole Illustré, as two strapping Gallic farmhands laboring to uproot Jewish evil from French lands.

On the left, the anthropomorphized La Libre Parole digs up scandals, depicted as deep-seeded weeds that threaten to taint the nation’s soil (Jean-Jacques Souligoux was implicated in the Panama scandal; Barney Barnato was involved in a diamond mine collapse). Meanwhile, the figure on the right renders this “valiant” work in his sketch-book. Working en plein-air, this anti-Semitic artist quickly sketches the “Dreyfus image” for which Drumont’s publications were best known. His bespectacled leafy vegetable undoubtedly represents Dreyfus.