Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Eye of the Police – France 1908-14

L’Œil de la Police (“The Eye of the Police”) was published in France between 1908 and 1914. The logo was a huge voyeuristic eye which revealed shocking images of sadistic murder, boiler explosions, suicides and natural disasters. When the Titanic sank L’Œil de la Police produced a wraparound cover to illuminate the tragic scene. On occasion the cover illustrated some incident of warfare in Calcutta, Turkey, Algeria or Russia.

The paper was a cornucopia of Grand Guignol (“big puppet-show”) produced in a fashion meant to shock the eye – much of it in comic strip form. The covers were the main selling point, and the best drawn, while the interior was full of small black and white illustrations. The back cover often featured a surrealistic illuminating eye lighting up horrible scenes of murder, tragedy and boiler explosions encased in circles, squares and jagged panels. Jules Mary, Constant Guéroult and other popular feuilleton writers contributed grand romans policier.
You can browse 47 issues of L’Œil de la Police HERE.



  1. John
    These are spectacular! The French imaginative artwork was hard to beat! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Amazing : I discover this paper here : Thanks a lot for the fiding.

    About Le grand Guignol :

    Guignol is a charactere (a puppet), the most famous in France (its that kind of charactere you could find everywere : who always tries not to work, who plays tricks on is wife and beat his main opponent Le gendarme - the cop, etc.)

    A puppet theater is (was) commonly called "un guignol".

    Le Grand Guignol was a theater in Paris (1897 - 1963) specialised in horror shows, with a strong accent on the gory parts. I guess (my knowledge on this matter is superficial, i must admit) that the plays were more or less the same kind of stories printed in l'Œil de la Police

    You could find pictures (images and photographies) about Le grand Guignol on the French Wickipedia