“This isn’t exactly a collection as all pictures come from the same source, the archives of my great great father which happen to be a doctor,” says Jérôme Dubois, who “found quite unexpectedly” his grandfather’s stash of Ridendo magazines. “He used to store every magazine and newspaper he received doing his job in the 1930s, and many of them contained beautiful ads, covers and drawings.”
“My intention was to gather and preserve those pictures, as I knew the house containing the archives was meant to be sold and the materials split between many family members, which didn’t seem to care much about those old papers. I guess my initial goal was to protect those pictures from being lost or forgotten, which happened way better than I expected, thanks to a few dedicated people.”
50 Watts has found some background on Ridendo:
Ridendo was a medical and humor magazine distributed to French physicians from 1933 to 1977, reaching around 450 issues. The first 139 covers were made by illustrator and commercial artist Jacques Touchet (who also published several books in the early fifties, and worked with another french magazine calledL’illustration). The covers always picture a physician along with a sympatethic version of Esculape, Latin god of medicine.
The magazine’s main content was jokes and cartoons about medicine and medical life, often even drawn by physicians themselves (making most of them really hard to understand). The covers tend to be a good representation of France’s cultural life over the years, from medical exams to national celebrations, or even war.
See an article and slideshow about Ridendo on Design Observer. A French website includes smaller scans of most of the covers.
Two of the adverts below are signed by Victor Vasarely, who would go on to fame for his Op-art paintings.