Adrien Albert Athanase Baneux (1874-1931) was a was a French medical caricaturist, poster artist and painter in Paris during the Belle Époque
Baneux went by the pseudonym Barrère and details of his life are sparse. A perpetual student, at various times he studied both medicine and law but qualified in neither.
Instead Barrère discovered that he had a profitable talent for witty drawings and this soon came to absorb him. He turned to illustrating and particularly to the art of caricature, also designing a large number of posters for Parisian cinemas and Grand Guignol.
Best known for his humour and caricatures, notably in satirical newspapers such as Fantasio, Le Rire (Rouge) and L’Assiette au beurre, his war sketches nevertheless occupy a singular place in his career.
- Born on November 13, 1874 in Paris, baptised Adrien Albert Athanase Baneux
- 1914-1918 active during the War as an artist at the front and produced ‘L’Album du Poilus‘ containing 125 drawings
- 1929 – exhibited at the Salons des Humoristes
- Died on May 5, 1931 in Paris
Barrère produced a series of lithographs of the Professors in the Faculties of Medicine and the Law, four of the former and two of the latter. These were printed by Barrère himself and sometimes coloured by hand. They were produced in the Latin Quarter of Paris and he sold 420,000 over a period of twenty-five years. A seventh medical plate was created, but he decided against publishing it.
The caricatures are faithful and at the time deemed to be a fair depiction of each physician or professor, most associated with some insignia of his particular discipline. Above all they are accurate as Barrère had first hand acquaintance in the lecture-room or operating theatres.
A detailed description of each of the lithographs can be found on their respective pages from the link in their title below
A vivid grouping (1903)
The naked lady (1906)
12 Professors of Pathology (1910)
A Cluster of Surgeons (1910)
Barrère and the Great War
Barrère was fascinated by medicine and the doctors and nurses he met. He aptly recorded war medicine, and the avant-garde and innovative techniques which evolved during the war such as blood transfusion, IV infusions, radiography, psychiatry, etc.
Barrère sketched quickly, capturing a snapshot on the battlefields, in the trenches, in field hospitals and on airfields. The faces are drawn with striking realism: they are serious, tortured by both physical and psychological pain that cannot leave anyone indifferent to the suffering.
The sketches are an exceptional testimony to the daily life of the soldiers, the living conditions, and equipment, with a particular focus on medical care, which evolved a lot during the war. The sense of synthesis and observation of the artist brings a striking realism to the whole and encourages us to the duty of memory.
- Barrère A. Quelques silhouettes médicales. 1900
- Barrère A. Fifteen French doctors wearing aprons and holding various instruments. Colour lithograph, from the Open: Wellcome Collection. 1903
- Barrère A. Les professeurs de la Faculté de médecine de Paris. 1904
- Barrère A. Sixteen French doctors with attributes of their specialties. Colour lithograph, from the Open: Wellcome Collection. 1906
- Barrère A. Twelve doctors standing in test tubes. Colour lithograph, Colour lithograph, from the Open: Wellcome Collection. 1910.
- Barrère A. Twelve French surgeons portrayed as pathological specimens in glass jars. Colour lithograph, from the Open: Wellcome Collection. 1910.
- Barrère A. L’Album des poilus. Leurs souvenirs de guerre (1914-1918). PDF book
- Barrère A. Les croquis de guerre 1914-1918. Tome II, Tome III
- Adrien Barrère is the Pseudonym of Adrien Albert Athanase Baneux
- Acremant A. Salon des humoristes. La Vie artistique, May 1911
- Landler H. Les croquis de guerre d’Adrien Barrère. 2015
- Lambert E, Benoist D. Adrien Barrère, caricaturiste. la BIU Santé 2013
- Adrien Barrère (1874-1931), Data BNF
LITFL Lithograph series
- Peschanski N, Cadogan M. A vivid grouping (1903). LITFL
- Peschanski N, Cadogan M. Sixteen French doctors (1906). LITFL
- Peschanski N, Cadogan M. Twelve Professors of Pathology (1910). LITFL
- Peschanski N, Cadogan M. A Cluster of Surgeons (1910). LITFL
- Le Vay D. Adrien Barrère. A French medical caricaturist. Practitioner. 1971 Jul;207(237):106-13
- Le Vay D. Adrien Barrère. A French medical caricaturist. 2. Practitioner. 1971 Aug;207(238):239-43
- Knisely WH. Adrien Barrère and his caricatures of the medical faculty of the University of Paris: “A Vivid Grouping”. J Child Neurol. 1988 Apr;3(2):124
- Knisely WH. Adrien Barrère and his caricatures of the medical faculty of the University of Paris: “The Professorss” J Child Neurol. 1988 Jan;3(1):52
- Knisely WH. Adrien Barrère and his caricatures of the medical faculty of the University of Paris:. “Surgeons and Gynecologists”: J Child Neurol. 1988 Jan;3(1):29.
the person behind the name
Prof. Nicolas Peschanski currently works as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Urgences Adultes-SAMU-35 SMUR, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Rennes. Nicolas does research in Emergency Medicine at U1096 INSERM EnVI Normandy University research Unit. He's Associate Prof. teaching Clinical Medicine and Emergency Medicine at Rennes-1 University School of Medicine. Involved in the #FOAMed development, he is a current member of the french Society of Emergency Medicine Guideline Committee.