The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Emmanuel Poiré, 1859-1909

Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 1859
Place of Birth: Moscow
Date of Death: 1909.02.26
Place of Death: Paris


Emmanuel Poiré was a caricaturist who worked under the pseudonym, Caran d'Ache, punning the Russian word for pencil 'karandash'. He was the grandson of a squadron leader in Napoleon's Guides who had stayed in Russia following the Battle of Moscow.


Poiré began his artistic career designing uniforms for the French army in Paris. He then moved on to contribute satirical drawings, mainly of military scenes, to American, Italian, Russian and French journals, including Chronique parisienne, L'Illustration and La Revue Illustrée. He was particularly known for his humorous 'Lundi' illustrations in Le Figaro, which appeared weekly in the Monday edition from 1899. It was there that he famously satirised the Dreyfus affair.

He co-founded with Jean-Louis Forain the anti-Dreyfus weekly satirical journal Psst!, which ran from 1898 to 1899, and also the paper Tout Paris. He illustrated a large number of books, including Albert Millaud's La Comédie du jour sous la république athénienne (Paris, 1886) and Nikolai Dmitrievich Benardaki's Prince Kozakokoff (Paris, 1893).

Joseph Pennell declared that his drawings not only showed great technical mastery, being composed with great economy of line, but that they 'amused the whole world'.


D'Ache, Caran, Nos soldats du siècle, Paris, 1890; Pennell, Joseph, Pen Drawing and Pen Draughtsmen, London, 1921; Bateman, H. M., Caran d'Ache the Supreme, London, 1933; Saur, Allgemeines Kunstler-Lexikon, Munioch, vol. 16, 1997, pp. 303-304; Melot, Michel, 'Caran d'Ache', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 9 October 2002).