Albert Dubout
January 26, 2013 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Albert Dubout (1905-1976) was a highly popular and prolific French cartoonist and illustrator, whose works were ubiquitous in France from the 1930s to the 1970s: Dubout illustrated books, film posters (notably those of Marcel Pagnol), magazines, advertisements, postcards and some of his cartoons were eventually adapted as a movie. Today, Dubout is best known as the creator of the Dubout couple (movie version; figurine version), consisting of a very large, full-bosomed, dominating, angry-looking wife with a diminutive, hapless and mustachioed husband in tow. Dubout's work is often highly detailed, and images larger than the tiny ones available on the official website are shown under the fold.

This part is not NSFW, but some wardrobe malfunction may occur. In the Dubout couple, the woman is usually shown as authoritarian, overbearing (dated september 1939, look for the swastika), spiteful, oppressive and aggressive (ad for the treatment of stormy menopause). The tiny husband is often dreamy and, at worst, slightly lecherous. This display of 20th century-style misogyny does not prevent some of those mismatched, unattractive and ridiculous-looking Dubout couples to show actual love, tenderness, and happiness, sometimes with a twist.
Another well-loved topic for Dubout were cats. The Internet, needless to say, is full of Dubout's cats, some of them quite beautiful. In addition to cats and overweight bourgeoises, Dubout covered a considerable number of topics, including bullfighting (in both funny and serious modes), sports (pétanque, Tour de France, hunting) , crowds (medieval France, Paris, multicultural Marseilles, bureaucracy, mass tourism, wedding... and orgies, see below) and (NSFW) war.

All links strongly NSFW from now on: like any self-respecting French artist, Dubout produced a large quantity of erotica (his second wife was Suzanne Ballivet, an erotic painter and illustrator of Pierre Louÿs and Sacher-Masoch) and illustrated a number or erotic/pornographic books, often in the same style as his other work, sometimes darker. Some of his tamest images were done for a popular trilogy of "sex guides" written by a Dr Besançon in the 1940s (wedding night, old age 1, old age 2, prostitutes, plastic surgery). His erotic cartoons covered the amusing, the hairy, the obsessive, as well as not-quite-titillating illustrations for the kama sutra, the Marquis de Sade's Justine (cover 1, cover 2, an orgy), Balzac... and Don Quixote.
Bonus: the peculiar entrance of the Dubout Museum at Palavas-les-Flots.
Bonus 2: Anatole à la Tour de Nesle, a 10 min animated cartoon directed by Dubout in 1947. Hint: the princess does not look like Disney's Cinderella.
posted by elgilito (2 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This is a beautiful post. Now I know what I'm going to do with the rest of the evening.

I would love to see more of his work like the piece in the link for darker- it has a sense of the urgent/ugly physicality of sex that I think is frequently overlooked in erotic art. It seems to be very different than the bulk of his commercial work, but it is carried through into his paintings, which seem to have the same sort of conceptual outlook as the posters and cartoons, but with a more nightmarish expression.
posted by winna at 3:06 PM on January 26, 2013

The Kama Sutra ones were decidedly Silly!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:04 PM on January 26, 2013

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