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mheu, Historical Museum of the Urban Environment

Leaving the Opera in the Year 2000

Albert Robida

Leaving the Opera in the Year 2000 - Albert Robida

© BnF

View this work in the exhibition Babel to Dubai: Urban Utopias

The artist

Albert Robida (1848-1926) was a brilliant illustrator and the graphic rival of Jules Vernes, with a healthy dose of humor! Robida provided illustrations for Shakespeare and Rabelais, and caricatures for the satirical magazine Assiette au Beurre, but he was also a visionary inventor. Drawing on the technical knowledge available at the time, he used his keen eye to sketch a remarkable view of the world. His work ranged from the esoteric to the oddball, with inventions including the telephonoscope (telephone with screen), transatlantic transportation through tubes laid on the sea bottom, a cloud vacuum, and even a brand-new continent. He was keen to explore the world of science fiction, as seen in the 1919 publication, L'Ingénieur Von Satanas, an apocalyptic novel drawing on the events of the First World War.