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Marius Bourotte by Unknown Artist

Marius Bourotte, 1929

Unknown Artist

The subject of this strange image is Maurius Bourotte, a convicted murderer. Photos of thieves and assassins were altered for publication in illustrated newspapers and magazines. The goal? To deliberately intensify their sinister aspect, producing caricatures of criminality that fed the public appetite for sensationalism — an appetite that sold newspapers. The white spots of gouache around his ear exaggerate its size, and the dark paint on his collar was probably meant to make him look more like a villain.

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