Treatment FOCUS: Signac's Anarchist Drawing
By the turn of the twentieth century, Algeria’s Biribi—a colloquial term for the French military police regime—was under increasing scrutiny. In 1909, news of a 22 -year -old soldier’s fatal beating at the hands of three superiors incensed the French people. As a wave of popular sentiment called for the soldier’s body to be returned to France, Les Temps nouveaux, a weekly anarchist periodical, published a special “Biribi” edition devoted to the story. The publication featured illustrations by Charles Angrand, Maximilien Luce, Delannoy, Grandjouan, Rodo Pissarro, Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen, and Paul Signac.
Signac’s drawing for the publication was titled “Pour les vautours,” which translates to “For the vultures.” The image, drawn in black ink on laid paper, shows the soldier’s body left in a field outside of town. One vulture stands atop him, while others swoop in.