Paper Worlds Popular Imagery of Wissembourg

To my best of knowledge, chromolithographs illustrating Muslim religious motifs were exported from Europe to the Arab world from about the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. In a new publication, an exhibition catalogue, that I still need to lay my hands on, Malou Schneider explores images of this kind produced by an Alsatian printing house based in Wissembourg/Weißenburg. The printing press was founded in 1835 by Jean Frédéric Wentzel. According to the Wissembourg Herald Tribune, the company maintained close trade relationships with Egypt in particular.

Outre cette actualité politique, les images traitèrent sans disctinction des sujets religieux aussi bien protestants, catholiques, juifs et même arabes comme ce retour du Tapis sacré à la Mecque grâce à Hassan Auvès, le correspondant de l’entreprise au Caire qui diffusa les images de Wissembourg en Egypte !

The below video documents provides a sneak preview of the exhibition which was shown at the Alsatian Museum between October 2010 and January 2011. If you pay close attention you can get a glimpse of the prototype for one of the motifs produced for Muslim markets. It depicts a Muslim man on horseback fighting demons. A chromolithograph depicting this very same motif and collected in Morocco can be found in the collection of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, 'The Faithful's Fight against Demons.’

(Video Source: CultureBox)


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