Shocking Au Japon
Illustrations by G. Bigot, 1897
Villetard de Laguerie (Preface)
Bigot, Ferninand Georges (Illustrations):
Shocking Au Japon, De L'Evolution de L'Art Dans L'Empire du Soleil Levant, Dessins de Georges Bigot, no date or location of publication stated, ca 1897, 8vo (6 3/4 x 9 1/4 in - 17.3 x 23.6 cm), text in French and presented in single column centered on the page, stiff wraps, front cover illustrated in black and red, back cover unillustrated, 12 black and white illustrations in text, bound Japanese style with spine uncovered and silk stab ties, 51 pp.
The illustrations in the book are from sketches by Georges Bigot. The front cover is illustrated and there are 2 full page text illustrations, 9 partial page text illustrations and an ending ("Fin") vignette.
The book has no title page or colophon. The preface notes Yokohama, July 5, 1895. The publication date of ca 1897 is an approximation. It is possible the book was published in Japan, Yokohama most likely.
This book is dealt with extensively in Images de L'ere -- Le Monde de Georges Bigot, un Artiste Francqis au Japon (information on that book here). The book is noted and the front cover pictured at page 152 (Item 7-13) of this book. Then, from pages 176-191, the contents are translated into Japanese with the front cover and all illustrations presented.
This book is listed in Wenckstern (Bibliography of the Japanese Empire - 1894-1906 as follows:
Bigot, G. Albums japonais: (published in Yokohama).
Les aventures du Capitaine Goudzou. (yen 2).
Croquis du bal travesti par le Pompier de Service, (yen 2).
The Diamond Jubilee in Japan, June 1897, (yen 2).
The Far East in Album: May and June, (yen 2 each).
Album humoristique de la vie japonaise, (yen 2).
Le 14e à Yokohama, (yen 2).
Evénements de l'année 1897. (yen 2).
Le Japon en 1897. (yen 2.).
Traité de Commerce entre la France et le Japon signé à Paris le 4 août 1896. (yen 2).
Tobaye, 26 numbers, (each 80 sen).
Yokohama Ballads, (yen 1).
Shocking au Japon. Fernand Ganesco. (yen 1.50).
The Preface and first page are here.
Full Page Plates
Closing Vignette on Free Page at Rear
Georges Bigot, a French painter and sketch artist, resided in Japan from 1882-1899. Initially he taught drawing at the National Military Academy. He married in Japan and had a son, Maurice. Georges Bigot and Charles Wirgman (See The Japan Punch) are both noted for their satirical sketch art in Japan. In Japan, Bigot's art appeared in a number of works. It is said that he published over 30 books/albums with his sketch art. Additionally, it is believed that he published or contributed to over 100 different periodicals (most in Japan and a few in Europe). It has been reported that Bigot was engaged in amateur photography in Japan but I have found no photographic images attributed to him recorded in publications or offered on the market. In 1899 he divorced his wife, Masu, and departed Japan with his son. He returned to France where he remarried and began a career producing satirical drawings (Epinal prints), sketches for magazines and later landscape paintings. Many of the landscapes were of Japanese scenes. For a listing of books and periodicals associated with Georges Bigot, click here. Two recent articles regarding Georges Bigot are outlined below.
Bigot's work in Japan was multi-faceted. He produced individual works for patrons, very limited edition books of etchings and mass marketed works in lithograph form. He worked in several mediums (water color paintings, sketches, etchings and lithographs) across a wide spectrum of subjects. He lived in Japan during an era of rapid modernization and assimilation of Western technology, ideas, values and styles. Much of his work appears to be an effort to capture images of the old pre-modernization Japan. On the other hand, he was keenly aware of where Japan was headed and sought to show that in his work. These images tend to be more in the nature of satire and along the line of what we now call cartoons.
In art published in France, Bigot would sometimes add the following Japanese signature to his work:
Books and Articles on Georges Bigot.
1987 - Bigot Exhibition in Japan and Paris
Georges Bigot: Ill y a cent ansa, nun artiste Francis auk Japan, Tokyo, Reunion desk Musees Japonais and Journal Yomiuri, 1987, square 8vo (9 x 9 1/2 in - 23 x 24 cm), text in Japanese and French, soft wraps, front cover illustrated with Bigot painting of a young lady carrying a child, 773 numbered illustrations of Bigot's work, 198 pp. An exhibition catalogue. This exhibition toured Japan and Paris from March through October of 1987. The catalogue is divided into two parts - works in color (386 numbered illustrations) and works in black and white (387 numbered illustrations).Often a numbered illustration contains sub-parts so there are far more than the 773 numbered illustrations. At the back are two sections with notes on each numbered illustration. The color illustrations show Bigot's works in Japan in water color, oil on canvas and pen & ink. The black and white illustrations show Bigot's sketch work as depicted in actual drawings or contained in various published formats (etchings, reproduced in lithograph and photo-mechanically reproduced). While Bigot's work before and after Japan are shown in this part, the vast majority are from the period when he lived in Japan. The black and white section also reproduces 6 photographs (#339) which appear to be his wife and son. A important and richly illustrated listing of Georges Bigot work in Japan. To see the cover, click here.
2002 - Daruma, Georges Bigot Article (Epinal Prints)
Available - Purchase Here
Georges Bigot's Secret Life as an Epinal Print Artist, published in Daruma, Japanese Art & Antiques Magazine, Issue 33, Vol. 9, No. 1, Winter 2002, Japan, 8vo, illustrated stiff wraps, 58 pp. The article on Georges Bigot covers pages 37 to 46. It is illustrated with 18 figures. A discussion of Georges Bigot's work after he returned to France in 1899. The "Epinal Prints" were color lithographs of a cartoon type nature presenting short stories/tales. They received the name because they were produced by the Jean-Charles Pellerin in the town of Epinal in France. Many of the prints were anonymous but Bigots name or identification is contained in some. Many but not all of the Bigot prints depict Japanese scenes. Other articles in this issue deal with Maki-e lacquer items, Netsuke carvers and Namikawa Sosuke. To see the cover of this issue, click here.
2002 - Daruma, Georges Bigot Article
Available - Purchase Here
Gallery Tamakaya (illustrations):
Georges Bigot's Passion for Japan, published in Daruma, Japanese Art & Antiques Magazine, Issue 35, Vol. 9, No. 3, Summer 2002, Japan, 8vo, illustrated stiff wraps, 58 pp. The article on Georges Bigot covers pages 38 to 45. It is illustrated with 16 images. An informative and finely illustrated discussion of the French artist, Georges Bigot, with the primary focus on the 17+ years (1882-1899) he spent in Japan. An important reference work for the collector of Bigot's work. Several of the illustrations reflect Bigot's work in the satirical "Toba-e" form of sketch art. Other articles in this issue deal with Japanese Combs and Hairpins and Japanese Ceramic Tea Jars. To see the cover of this issue, click here.
2001 & 2003 - Japanese Books on Georges Bigot
Shimizu, Isao (editor):
Bigo Sobyoshu, Iwanami Bunko (2003) and Zoku Bigo Sobyoshu, Iwanami Bunko (2001), Tokyo, Iwanami Shoten.
2002 - Georges Bigot, French Artist in Japan
Images de L'ere -- Le Monde de Georges Bigot, un Artiste Francqis au Japon, ("Images of the Meiji Era - The World of Georges Bigot, a French Artist in Japan"), 2002, Kawasaki, Japan, Yamakawa Company, 4to, soft cover with illustrated dust jacket, 192 pp. Extensively illustrated in color and black and white. Covers Bigot's works in France before and after 20 years in Japan as well as his books, drawings, sketches and paintings while in Japan. Also provides biographical information on Bigot. In Japanese except for some captions to images which also include the English translation. A comprehensive review of Bigots work including his paintings, drawings (many published in The Graphic, La Vie Moderne and Journal des Voyages), satirical art and books. To see the dust jacket, click here. ISBN 4-634-60590-2.