I won't argue with you. Architectural rendering can be thoroughly boring. However, there was something about Guérin's work that set it apart from the rest. These top four are the color plates from the August 1902 issue of The Century Magazine and the lead article, The New New York by Randall Bradshaw. The black and white illustrations were total mud so there was no point in trying to upload them. This color, however, was as good as it got for that period of time and has lent itself to my enhancing it.
These last two renderings of New York were to illustrate a poem by a John Finley, of whom I could not find any pertinent link, entitled The Lost City, from the August 1904 edition of Scribner's Monthly Magazine.
I'll quote a few lines from the poem: BUT yesterday there stood a city here, Impregnable; built on th' eternal rock. Which the unhistoried years had laid for it; Reared of the substance of th' eternal hills With earth's own iron sinews strengthening: A city that had gathered to itself Some shards of all the cities that have ever been . . . . And the rest of the tribute is over the top.
I came across these from a Century magazine of February 1908 but without any accompanying text pages in the file so they couldn't have been very interesting -- or maybe they got lost. I don't know. I did a little research and found that these were illustrations that were also used for a book Century published in 1908, written by Robert Hitchens entitled Egypt and Its Monuments.
Hitchens and Guérin also collaborated on subsequent titles, The Holy Land, in 1910; and The Near East, in 1911.
For more examples of Guerin's work, click on his name among categories, right, and scroll down.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph with the Pyramids of Gizeh in the background
While we can show only four of Guérin's illustrations in color here, from the lead article in Scribner's Monthly Magazine for April 1904 by Montgomery Schuyler, this exhibition was formally known as The Louisiana Purchase Exposition. You can read about the fair at the Wikipedia link, or search for other sources of information. I have read and reread the learned text of the distinguished architectural critic and once again I have to say that it would do a great disservice to the genius of Jules Guérin to bore you with the comparisons made between this fair and others of the time, with not a word about the splendid illustrations. More's the pity.
The Colonnade of the Varied Industries Building
Education Building, reflected in the Grand Basin, early evening.
Electricity Building by Moonlight.
Façade of Transportation Building at night. I'll close this tribute to the work of Jules Guérin without adding anything further. You have now seen enough of his renderings to appreciate his genius. I can only marvel at his courage to undertake such monumental assignments, and then to bring them off as spectacularly as he did.
British writer Richard Whiteing was the author of a lead article in The Century Magazine for April 1905 entitled The Chateaux of the Loire and The Chateaux of Touraine in the June issue.
The piece begins: "Our breakfast at the modest hotel at Chinon was particularly enjoyable. To be fair, this imports no very great praise of the hotel. Even provincial France is losing the secret of the French cuisine bourgeoise. They cook in the provinces now much as they cook in Paris, and this again implies no compliment to the capital. . . . our coffee was served on the terraced bank of the Vienne. There was plenty of foliage between us and the sun, still rather uncomfortably near its meridian, though on the right side for the wayfarer. The day was glorious; the breakfast was a breakfast in one of the most beautiful towns of old Touraine; and old Touraine has the richest remains of those historic chateaux of the Loire which I had come to see." This is Guérin's rendering of the castle of Chinon, for many years the stronghold of English invaders where it dominated all of Touraine.
The chateau of Langeais
Approach to the gate of the chateau of Langeais. My young wife and I were there 51 years ago and I remember being very much impressed with the power of the buildings. Whereas other chateaux of the Loire are situated to be seen at a distance, Langeais is a presence to be reckoned with. It is seen up close and impressive. While walking through its narrow streets at dusk we had to duck into the shelter of doorways as the U.S. Army came highballing through town towing monstrously large canvas-draped ordnance that reminded us we were in the middle of the Cold War responding to the recent launch of the Soviet Sputnik.
The lead article for Scribner's Monthly Magazine for November 1904 was by John Corbin, author and drama critic, who lived from 1870 to 1959. Such Stuff as Dreams are Made of was its title and it was all about theatrical production. Guérin had two color illustrations in the piece but four-color process reproduction being what it was in those early days, you'll have to appreciate this work more for its scope than its clarity. This is The rehearsal, seen from the fly floor. The ballet going through its steps to the music of a piano.
The chorus on a stone wall. How the scene looks from the back. Rarely it seems that a painter so proficient at architecture and scenics depicts people so well.
Jules Guerin was a very famous illustrator, painter and muralist of his time 100 years ago. I'll upload more images and information about this remarkably talented American later. But for now I want to show you these double spreads from April issues of Scribner's Monthly Magazines in 1904 and 1905 in that order. Above, Easter in Greeley Square, New York City. Click on images to enlarge them. Four-color process printing was in its infancy in 1905 so the image is nowhere as sharp as today's printed pieces. However, the scope of the illustrations is remarkable
"When tulips bloom in Union Square, And timid breaths of vernal air Go wandering down the dusty town, Like children lost in Vanity Fair. -- Henry Van Dyke. Vanity Fair refers to the book by Thackeray, not the magazine of today.