Monday, October 2, 2023

Didier Graffet, French Steampunk Illustrator

Didier Graffet, born 1970, is a French painter/illustrator specializing in Steampunk and fantasy subjects.   Some background regarding him is here.

As best I can tell, most artists of that genre nowadays produce digital images.  Graffet, however, seems to have mostly or entirely painted using acrylics.  That is more laborious than digital, given the amount and type of detail he uses.  But the result is something tangible that can be sold for a good price, if auction values for some of his works are any clue.

Below are examples of his paintings found on the Internet.


Angel City
First, to place Graffet's work in context, a fine example of digital Steampunk art by the well-known Stephan Martinière.

A New York City fantasy by Graffet.  He compresses Broadway, showing the 23rd Street's Flatiron Building (slightly altered) in the middle ground and Times Square closer in.

Detail of the previous image.  The Paramount Theatre at the right is in the same spirit as the actual Paramount of the late 1920s.  The nearest southbound car is a Jaray-type streamlined Maybach of 1935.  Other cars seem to be Graffet's inventions, as is the double deck bus at the left. 

A country scene with castles in the background and Viking-type ships approaching us.

Graffet used that vehicle's shape in several of his paintings.

Here one is at a loading platform.  The people on the balcony are dressed in circa-1920 fashion.

Trafalgar Celebration
Trafalgar Square, London.  HMS Victory sits by Nelson's monument while a huge dirigible loiters overhead.  The people are dressed as in the 1890s.

Métro Gare du Nord
The train station for points north of Paris.  The façade is there, but far, far above street level.  The sign fragment at the upper left advertises trains for London.

Le Tour
Eiffel Tower as seen from across the Seine.  Some of the airships are steam powered, highly unlikely in reality, but found in Steampunk illustrations by other artists.

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