Les Communeux: Types, Caractères, Costumes

Illustrator Charles-Albert Arnoux Bertall French
Publisher E. Plon et Cie., Paris French
Printer E. Plon et Cie., Paris French

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First published in 1871, Bertall’s illustrations of types of the Commune was popular enough to be printed in a third edition by 1880. An English translation of 1873 asserted that the album is the "visual textbook" of the Paris Commune. This page shows two of the pétroleuses, or female arsonists, accused of setting fire to several government buildings during the Commune’s bloody last week. The pétroleuse emerged as a mythic type and a scapegoat, whose role in the Commune was exaggerated in reaction to the threat posed by women’s empowerment during the conflict.

Les Communeux: Types, Caractères, Costumes, Charles-Albert Arnoux Bertall (French, Paris 1820–1882 Paris), Illustrations: hand-colored wood engraving

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