Frans Masereel

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Masereel, Frans


Born July 30, 1889, in Blankenberge, West Flanders; died Jan. 4, 1972, in Avignon, France. Belgian graphic artist and painter. Member of the Communist Party of Belgium.

Masereel studied at the Academy of Arts in Ghent in 1907 and 1908. After 1909 he lived mainly in France. During World War I, he lived in Switzerland, where he joined R. Rolland’s group of pacifist writers and produced a cycle of antiwar newspaper drawings. Masereel used the artistic devices of expressionism and other new currents in 20th-century art. These devices included phantasmagoric images, grotesqueness that at times changed faces into masks, angular geometric drawing, dynamic composition, and sharp contrasts of black and white. Masereel used themes from literature, traditional symbols, and allegorical elements. His series of woodcuts (“novels in pictures”) are marked by a rapid unfolding of theme characteristic of a succession of motion-picture frames.

Masereel was interested in the life of modern man, caught up in the social whirlwind of the city. Tracing the intellectual growth and fate of his heroes, he revealed the tragic conflict between free thought and bourgeois society and expressed a conscious political protest against violence and exploitation. He also sought to determine man’s place in the contemporary world and the humanist values associated with his existence. The artist’s works include Man’s Road to Calvary (1918), My Book of Hours (1919), An Idea, Its Birth, Its Life, Its Death(l920), The City (1925), Creation (1928), Dance of Death (1941), and Youth (1948).

Masereel illustrated the works of C. De Coster, R. Rolland, and others. He did a number of albums of drawings and water-colors and painted landscapes, portraits, and genre compositions. He also worked for the theater and films. Masereel influenced the work of many European artists of the first half of the 20th century and played a significant role in the development of new expressive devices in critical realism.


Kantor, A. M. “Tvorchestvo Fransa Mazerelia.” In the collection Sovremennoe izobrazitel’noe iskusstvo kapitalisticheskikh stran. Moscow, 1961.
Sapego, I. “Obraznyi stroi grafiki Mazerelia.” Iskusstvo, 1961, no. 8.
Razdol’skaia, V. Mazerel’. Leningrad-Moscow, 1965.
F. Masereel, Malerei und Graphik: 1917-1957. Berlin, 1957.
F. Masereel. . . . [Dresden] 1959.


References in periodicals archive ?
Darin finden sich Portrats ihres Mannes Carl Sternheim und der Kinder Dorothea (genannt Mopsa) und Klaus sowie bedeutender Kunsder, mit denen sie befreundet war, darunter Frans Masereel, Andre Gide, Annette Kolb, Gottfried Benn, Max Ernst, Julien Green oder Klaus Mann.
Queremos, ademas, evidenciar que este grabado tuvo influencia tanto a nivel de forma como de contenido de Frans Masereel, artista belga ligado al Expresionismo.
He's the twenty-first-century grandchild of all those brow-furrowed proletarians at the center of such worldess, woodcut, proto-graphic-novels as Passionate Journey by Frans Masereel or Gods' Man by Lynd Ward.
If the concept of "creative print" inspired Chinese woodcut artists and enthusiasts to see woodcut as a legitimate medium of self-expression distanced from the "reproductive" form of commercial art, a series of "woodcut novels" by Frans Masereel (1889-1972), the Flemish graphic artist, provided them an invigorating model of pictorial narrative that linked the expressive possibilities of creative woodcut with the social-democratic politics.
At any rate devotees of the comic art history will recognize the Belgian artist Frans Masereel and the New Yorker Lynd Ward for extraordinary achievements probably also Milt Gross whose 1930 She Done Him Wrong is arguably the one historic crossover from the newspaper comic strip style.
Graphic Witness: Four Wordless Graphic Novels by Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, Giacomo Patri and Laurence Hyde.
Rendered in a black and white scratchboard technique, evocative of the German Expressionists and the picture novels of Lynd Ward, Otto Nuckel and Frans Masereel in the 1920s and 1930s, the first panel includes a vintage photograph of 10-year-old Artie posing with his mother in a bathing suit, which segues into a drawn self-portrait of a gaunt Spiegelman in prison garb (referring to his brief stay as a teenager in a state mental hospital) with the speech balloon: "In 1968 my mother killed herself .
The genre's most prolific practitioner, the Belgian anarchist Frans Masereel (1889-1972), set the stage for these mostly leftist works.
Pfemfert's own photographs from the 1920s and 1930s, among them portraits of Andre Gide, Karl Kraus, Frans Masereel, and Gottfried Benn, are a striking embellishment to the book.
1497-1543), y con influencias de la obra de Frans Masereel (1889-1972) y Ernst Barlach (1870-1938), entre otros.
The mostly woodcut works of Belgian artist Frans Masereel and American artist Lynd Ward, at their most influ-ential during the 1920s and '30s, had sales in the hundreds of thousands, although it should be noted that their introductions by famous contemporary novelists surely attracted readers' attention.
At any rate, devotees of the comic art history will recognize the Belgian artist Frans Masereel and the New Yorker Lynd Ward for extraordinary achievements, probably also Milt Gross, whose 1930 She Done Him Wrong is arguably the one historic crossover from the newspaper comic strip style.