The captivity of Jean Daligault: the executioners

The captivity of Jean Daligault: the executioners

  • The director of the prison of Trier.

    DALIGAULT Jean (1899 - 1945)

  • Guardian in Hinzert (SS in Hinzert).

    DALIGAULT Jean (1899 - 1945)

To close

Title: The director of the prison of Trier.

Author : DALIGAULT Jean (1899 - 1945)

Creation date : 1942

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 7 - Width 5

Technique and other indications: Newsprint, oil painting

Storage location: Museum of Resistance and Deportation website

Contact copyright: © Center Pompidou Collection, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat

Picture reference: 07-521365 / AM1728D (9)

The director of the prison of Trier.

© Center Pompidou Collection, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat

To close

Title: Guardian in Hinzert (SS in Hinzert).

Author : DALIGAULT Jean (1899 - 1945)

Creation date : 1942

Date shown: 1942

Dimensions: Height 7.1 - Width 4.7

Technique and other indications: Newspaper

Storage location: Museum of Resistance and Deportation website

Contact copyright: © Center Pompidou Collection, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat

Picture reference: 07-521363 / AM1728D (7)

Guardian in Hinzert (SS in Hinzert).

© Center Pompidou Collection, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

From Trier to Hinzert

Priest, designer, painter and engraver, Jean Daligault joined the Resistance in 1940, through the Caen branch of the "Volunteer Army" network. Both dating from 1942 and following the route of the detainee (who left the prison for the camp at this time), The director of Trier prison and Goalkeeper in Hinzert constitute a testimony whose exceptional character derives from the context, the author and the conditions of realization.

Image Analysis

The gardians

The director of Trier prison is a portrait that Jean Daligault painted in oils on newspaper - a few German words appear in the places little covered by the painting. This bust portrait consists of a set of black or light gray lines which, by their arrangement, give a fairly impressionistic turn to the representation. Old, massive and stern (furrowed eyebrows, dark eyes and eyes, a pointed and almost offensive nose), the director is however easily recognizable.

Goalkeeper in Hinzert was also painted on newspaper, as the German text shows this time very present. But, in this bust portrait of an S.S., the black lines are sharper and wider, and Daligault favored geometric figures juxtaposed or nested. Square (his massive shoulders bar space), the uniformed goalkeeper has a rectangular head wearing a diamond-shaped kepi (with a rectangular badge). The nose (a rectangle), the ears (triangles), the pockets (the rectangles) and the buttons (round) of his jacket correspond to this composition. Almost childish, the drawing with yet regular lines shows a caricatural face, a little misshapen, with divergent eyes.

Interpretation

Art despite everything

Like other works produced in situations of captivity and violence, The director of Trier prison and Goalkeeper in Hinzert express a distancing of his condition by Daligault. Painting allows him to give meaning to context and suffering, to go beyond them in order to achieve art despite everything.
But it is a matter of realizing this reality rather than running away from it. Thus, the two characters represented have all the attributes of the dominant and the executioners: the healthy and well nourished bodies (fat or muscle) oppose those of their victims, as if the authority and the feeling of its legitimacy are also translated by this means (in addition to the uniform for the SS).

The director's dark, almost cruel gaze differs, however, from the expressionless and empty gaze of the SS If the first of these characters is both more complex (in the composition and its result) and more disturbing, the second - a mass all in angles - boils down to a caricature of brute force. Perhaps Daligault thus signified the passage from prison to camp, which also represents a gradation in violence and inhumanity.

  • Concentration camp
  • deportation
  • Resistance
  • War of 39-45

Bibliography

Centenary of the birth of Jean Daligault, 1899-1945, Direction des Archives du Calvados, Caen, 1999 DE LA MARTINIERE, Joseph, My testimony of deported NN, volume II: Hinzert, Paris, FNDIRP, 1989.DORRIÈRE, Christian, Cinq Years of Hell and Fifty of Purgatory, Volume I: Jean Daligault, a page of the resistance in Caen, Caen, 1995.DORRIERE, Christian, L'Abbé Jean Daligault - A painter in the death camps, Le Cerf, " Epiphanie Collection ”, 2001 Jean Daligault Paintings and Sculptures, introduction by Madame LORACH, Museum of Resistance and Deportation of Besançon, editions de la Martinière, Paris, 1996.

To cite this article

Alexandre SUMPF, "The captivity of Jean Daligault: the executioners"


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