Tag Archives: Paul Élie Dubois

C is for Cards of the Sahara

Part of an occasional series: Sahara A to Z 

You may also like… Chants du Hoggar – the artwork of Paul Élie Dubois
And this too

Some attractive cards featuring Saharan themes dating from around the middle of the 20th century. They’re being sold inexpensively by euro-cards on ebay. I have to say on the bottom one it looks like they have have got their tribal categories mixed up, but the Dutch ones (5 and 6) are especially attractive to an ex Tintin/Look & Learn fan.

Sahara plant

L’Atlantide ~ more artwork from Paul Élie Dubois

As well as illustrating Chants du Hoggar, French painter Paul Élie Dubois worked on a version of a celebrated novel of the time, L’Atlantide (Atlantis) by Pierre Benoit. It describes the vicissitudes of two French soldiers searching for lost compatriots in the Sahara and who end up in Atlantis, ruled by the beautiful Queen Antinea who seduces and then entombs her lovers. There’s more on the book and films here.

Chants du Hoggar – the artwork of Paul Élie Dubois


Years ago a well-wisher based in France send me a CD of scanned artwork by a French Orientalist painter, called Paul Élie Dubois (1886-1949).

In the 1920s and 30s Dubois travelled frequently in the recently colonised Hoggar of southern Algeria and went on to exhibit his work as well as illustrate limited editions of popular books on the area, such as Chants du Hoggar, a series of courtly Tuareg legends and fables retold to the author, Angèle Maraval-Berthoin. A figure in one of the legends over whom Tuareg ‘knights’ fight is known as Dassine, also the name of the long-established campsite on the east side of Tam. Now I know.

Images from that book appear below, followed by a few general views of southern Algeria also by Dubois and which some may recognise.