Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

French artist predictor Albert Robida

Telephonoscope in 2000. 1883 illustration by French artist predictor Albert Robida

Telephonoscope in 2000. 1883 illustration by French artist predictor Albert Robida

“Through art we are sometimes sent dimly, briefly such revelations, which rational thinking can’t develop” – Solzhenitsyn once said. His words are most directly related to Artist predictor Albert Robida. Frenchman Albert Robida was a science fiction writer and a brilliant artist. His creative insights strike today. He was born in southern France in 1848, 14 May. Began drawing at a young age. Later, he drew cartoons, illustrations for various journals. Albert Robida was a great traveler, visited all parts of the country, went abroad. In 1883 in Paris, was published his book “The Twentieth Century”, and a few years later appeared. “Electrical life.” In these books, he looked into the future and made startling predictions, describing” technical wonders “of the coming century.

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress. Artist predictor Albert Robida

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress

Artist predictor Albert Robida prophesied plague of our century – AIDS, and we can say that he predicted the Chernobyl disaster. Its prototype is a terrible accident that took place on the power station due to the breakdowns in a large tank: “In the afternoon, December 12, 1995 due to some stupidity, the cause of which remained unclear, broke out all over Europe a terrible electrical storm, so-called tornado, accident, that brought a lot of surprises, “- we read on the pages of his novel.

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress. Artist predictor Albert Robida

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress

Here you can find and anticipation of building nuclear weapons: “… Not content with the fact that the electrical energy is a powerful instrument of production, a bright beacon, horn transmitting voice at any distance on land, at sea and in the interplanetary space, electricity performs, in addition, thousands of other various duties. Among other things, it serves in human hands as arms – a deadly and dangerous weapon on the battlefield … ”

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress. Artist predictor Albert Robida

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress

Everyone in the world knows that this “deadly and dangerous weapon” was first invented in Russia, and its creator himself, Andrei Sakharov, who is among the prophets of the XX century, warned of the dire consequences of its use for evil ..

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress. Artist predictor Albert Robida

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress

French artist predictor Albert Robida anticipated explosions of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In his work “The Hours of the past centuries,” which was published in 1898, he tells of the creation of “pea-sized bombs capable of destroying an entire city. This invention will make some politicians violent, leading inevitably to the “great tribulation” and “great horror”.

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress. Artist predictor Albert Robida

A futuristic view of air traffic in Paris in 2000. Hand colored lithograph. 1882, Washington, Library of Congress

However, there are pages of his prophetic works with optimistic predictions. In the end, Albert Robida predicts, from the great terror, people will create a “Grand Council of protection from mistakes of the past without the politicians.” The survived portion of mankind will take lessons from the tragic past”.

Air rotary home. Artist predictor Albert Robida

Air rotary home. Illustration of the Twentieth Century (1883). Artist predictor Albert Robida

“… The human race survived and was not killed, at least fully, and finally wised up. A man came out of great tribulation, and began to march to values left by his ancestors “- prophesying great Frenchman.

Artist predictor Albert Robida

Albert Robida Cures d’air dans la montagne

In the same sci-fi novel “Electric Life” he says about the consequences of the monstrous exploitation of nature, pollution due to industrial development: “… Our heroes finally managed to breathe a clean air, not polluted by smoke of monstrous factories. Here it was possible to give complete rest to the brain and nerves, feel the happiness and joy of life!”

Coverage of the Twentieth Century or Electrical life cover illustration (1890). Artist predictor Albert Robida

Coverage of the Twentieth Century or Electrical life cover illustration (1890). The End of Books_- page 230a

He was not wrong, predicting that people of the XX century will quickly wear out the nervous system. The cause of aging, by Robida, would serve both a super-fast pace of life and the environment: “Because of the feverish haste of life of the XX century people will quickly grow old: a 45 year-old will look like a 70-year-old. Rejuvenation will occur under special caps …”

Coverage of the Twentieth Century or Electrical life cover illustration (1890). Artist predictor Albert Robida

Coverage of the Twentieth Century or Electrical life cover illustration (1890). Artist predictor Albert Robida

Albert Robida predicted about the great possibilities of chemical science, with which people would restore the fertility of the soil. To stimulate germination and growth, the seeds will be exposed to electro-processing.

The Improvement to Paris by the Metropolitan, La Caricature of June 19, 1886. Artist predictor Albert Robida

The Improvement to Paris by the Metropolitan, La Caricature of June 19, 1886. Artist predictor Albert Robida

He also predicted the possibility of creating an artificial food, and not only that: he “saw” a man endowed with the gift of insight, the ability to create artificial human! The hero of his book “The Engineer Medic Syufaten, nice fellow, was grown artificially – in a retort.”

The Infernal War, Episode 2, January 1908. Artist predictor Albert Robida

The Infernal War, Episode 2, January 1908. Artist predictor Albert Robida

His drawings, which prompted him to his visionary imagination of the artist, also demonstrated technological advances of coming century, which were realized in this century. These were enormous airships, subway, telephonoscope, phonograph, chemical artillery shells, underwater battleships and torpedoes.

Artist predictor Albert Robida

Albert Robida drawing

With his brilliant mind of a writer and an artist-seer, given to him by God, he predicted people will be provided with building materials from which will be constructed houses for the dwelling citizens of the future. He predicted that the house will be built from artificial granite and glass with “refractory plastics and tubular aluminum.”

Indispensable attribute of every home, in his predictions, had become telephonoscope (television and telephone) used by pressing buttons with which you can listen to “Teletext” with the news. Telephonoscope would allow, he foresaw, “to visit relatives and to be away, without leaving home,” where would not be such premises as the kitchen, as you can order ready-made meals using telephonoscope or feed yourself with concentrates in the form of pills. Apparently, like tubes with artificial food, which first began to use our astronauts on board of the spacecraft.

“Behind every new epoch is visible new generation, behind this generation are heard the following steps, which will perform on stage, when their time will come in the eyes of eternity.” Past flows into the present and the future, the future becomes the past. Thus is the circle of eternity of life on Earth, segments of which are given to see clearly by elected – the prophets.

Robida telephonoscope. Artist predictor Albert Robida

Telephonoscope in 2000. 1883 illustration by French artist predictor Albert Robida