Monday, July 1, 2013

A Little Infernal Imagery

About a year ago, I stumbled across an image on Pinterest of skeletons in a row boat. The photo looked very old, and at first, I thought it might have been a still from a film by french filmmaker, Georges Méliès, who was the subject of the movie, Hugo, but then a Pinterest pal suggested it might be a detail from Les Diableries. Whilst grateful for this piece of information, I'm afraid I had no idea what she was referring to, so I set about doing some research that eventually led me to The London Stereoscopic Company.

The Diableries are a series of stereoscopic photographs created in Paris from the 1860s through to 1900. Apparently, Parisians had a quite an appetite for all things diabolical during this period, so these stereo cards depicted scenes of life in Hell, often satirizing the politics and lifestyle of the day. Sculpted clay vignettes were photographed with a stereo camera, and when viewed through a stereoscope, produced a magical 3D effect.

To learn more about these amazing works of art, and see more of the Diableries, I highly recommend checking out The London Stereoscopic Company website. They also have a book coming out called, Diableries - Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell, by Brian May, Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming. It is due to be released on October 10, 2013... just in time for Halloween.


36 comments:

  1. "Satanville" would be a great name of a village, hilarious!

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  2. I'm in love with this. Thanks so much for introducing me to Les diableries.

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    1. My pleasure, Vanessa! :) I'm so glad I stumbled upon these wonderfully dark delights.

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  3. Oh the little skeleton boating scene is cute! They are definitely kinda creepy though!

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    1. Hi Sandy,

      "Chez Satan" is like an adorably macabre little dollhouse scene to me, but yes, there are sinister undertones. :)

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    1. HA! Never has that exclamation been uttered more appropriately, Julie! ;)

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  5. The London Stereoscopic Company tells us that the devils, satyrs and skeletons were having fun. Yet, all we hear is what a terrible place Hell is! Ha!

    Thanks for the interesting and informative post.

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    1. I know just what you mean, Nightwind! Things look positively festive down in Satanville! Good times! Haha.

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  6. How delightful!
    Those Parisians had some good taste.

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    1. Hi Laury,

      Yes, those 19th century Parisians appear to have been our kind of people! ;D

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  7. I think it must have been kind of fun to craft all those little skeletons. Thanks so much for the pics and the info! :-)

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    1. Yes, I agree, Lexa! I wonder what became of all the models after they were photographed?! I'd love to see an exhibition of all those Hell dioramas. :)

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  8. The skeletons are actually pretty cute! These images are strangely friendly and fun loving considering the theme. There must be a Devil theme going on, because I ended up watching an episode of Thriller about The Devil last night. It was called "The Devil's Ticket" and was pretty good up until the end. It was a bit of a downer, but I guess what can you expect?

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    1. Hi Justine,

      Yeah, I think they're pretty cute as well! They've all got happy, smiley faces, so they don't appear to be suffering too much in the eternal torment department. ;)

      I've bookmarked quite a few of those Thriller episodes. So is 'The Devil's Ticket' worth watching? I'm really quite excited about getting into that series. It seems like it would be just my cup of tea! :)

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  9. I can't even begin to imagine how long it would take to sculpt something that intricate out of clay! Wouldn't it be fun to have little dioramas like that all around your house? Although they'd be hell to dust. ;o)

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    1. "Wouldn't it be fun to have little dioramas like that all around your house? Although they'd be hell to dust."

      Hahaha. Nice one, Insomniac’s Attic! ;D

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    2. That is why you steal people's souls and make them your minions. Free house cleaners! :P

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    3. "Steal people's souls and make them your minions."

      Hmm... I like it! ;D

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  10. I love the movie and book of Hugo! I love stereoscopic things! I always liked those magic eye books but I could only ever do the 'straight' images and not the cross eyed ones.

    Those old stereoscopic images are fascinating, I think there was something on the TV show Oddities about them having ones of diseases?

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    1. Hi Laura,

      I haven't read the book, but I really enjoyed the 'Hugo' movie too! The 3D experience worked incredibly well in that film. Johnny Depp was one of the producers, which was cool, and I also loved the fact that Christopher Lee had a small part in it. :)

      3D diseases? Haha. And eww! ;)

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  11. This is some really cool-looking stuff. I'm a massive fan of Salvador Dalí and love all of his stereoscopic paintings - but these are way cooler =)

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    1. Hi Maynard,

      Yes, this was such a cool discovery! I'd love to actually see these stereoscopic images in 3D, but even in 2D, they're so awesome! :D

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  12. This is really cool! I didn't know it. Thank you for sharing

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    1. Hi Morrigan,

      My pleasure! I'm so happy I stumbled upon these little gems too! :)

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  13. These pictures are just right dose of beautiful and eerie. :)

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    1. Hi Jenny,

      Yeah, it was hard picking just a few images for this post. I'm sure the book that's coming out in October will be fabulous! :)

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    1. Hi Margaret,

      Yes, truly amazing, yet little known, works of art! :)

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  15. It's not just because I'm a horror nut, but I love stuff like this. These pictures are so cool, they're almost romantic, if you know what I'm saying.

    Great blog here! I'm glad I found it, I just followed you! I just read through your posts. This is definitely a blog for me haha. Keep up the good work. Hopefully we'll chat sometime about horror or anything macabre.

    If you wanna chat horror films, swing by my blog.
    http://grimmreviewz.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Grimm,

      Yes, I totally know what you're saying. :) The imagery is really beautiful in spite of the diabolical theme.

      Thanks for following. I'll head on over to your blog now. Always enjoy a little chat about macabre matters. :D

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  16. Hello, I'm here again, seeing updates. Excellent post, congratulations.
    Greetings from:
    http://terror-en-el-cine.blogspot.com/

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  17. Wow! I'd just love to get my hands on these images, they're perfect!

    And hopefully the models are on display somewhere too.

    Thank you for sharing : )

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    1. My pleasure, Yvonne! I'd love to see the models on display. They're so full of little details. :)

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