Robida, Albert

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Robida, Albert (1848-1926). French Illustrator, called by Arthur B. Evans, an "early pioneer of science fiction and founding father of science fiction art."[1]

Evans on Robida's work, relevant here:

Robida’s novels are unique for their time. A host of futuristic technological extrapolations are juxtaposed onto a realistic (from a 19th-century perspective) representation of lifestyles, beliefs, and social institutions. Husbands and wives argue about their daughter’s dowry over the “telephonoscope,” traditional weekend outings to the country are done via the “pneumatic tube” or “aerocar,” and the bourgeois home is decorated with artworks of “photo-paintings” or “galvano-sculpture.” The effect is often very comical. But even when shown to be problematic or potentially dangerous (especially in its military applications), Robida’s high-tech gadgetry invariably serves to underscore the vagaries of human behaviour. Hence, although revered as a very important figure in the emergence of modern science fiction, Robida’s narrative approach — “let’s look at ourselves through foreign eyes” — also identifies him as a direct literary descendant of social satirists such as Voltaire and Montesquieu.
When Robida saw his technological daydreams turn into real-life nightmares during World War I, his attitude toward scientific progress changed dramatically. The final decade of his life was characterized by a growing antipathy to all things newfangled and technological.

Samples available on line as of date, e.g., "Albert Robida Artwork," collection by (sic) Ernest Williams: here.[2] Several sites offer prints for sale. In a ms. section called "Picturing the Future," John J. Pierce notes that a number of Robida's illustrations can be found in Anthony Frewin’s One Hundred Years of Science Fiction Illustration (1974)

See also entry on La guerre au vingtième siècle and the works referenced there.

RDE, Initial Compiler, with thanks to J. J. Pierce, 18-19Ap20