Sem

Cartoonist

© Fonds médiathèque de Deauville
© Fonds médiathèque de Deauville
© wikimedia

Sem, nickname of Georges Goursat (1863-1934), was a poster painter, cartoonist and gossip columnist, very present in Deauville. He started visiting Deauville in 1912, invited by Eugène Cornuché, who had previously entrusted him with Maxim’s restaurant’s visual identity.

In 1909, following the release of his first comic album, Sem knew great success. His reputation was comforted by the creation and limited publication of 20 albums. In the 1910’s, being caricatured by Sem became an achievement, a token of celebrity. In the tradition of Toulouse Lautrec, and Jules Chéret, following the style of Cappiello, Sem pursued his work in poster designing and advertisement illustration.

Sem was a member of the Salon des Humoristes, he worked as an illustrator for Le Figaro, Le Rire and Le Cri de Paris. Before the releases of his albums, which were highly anticipated then, and are now collected by experts, his caricatures were also published in the Illustration magazine.

Sem à la mer (1912) Tangoville-sur-Mer (1913), Le vrai et le faux chic (1914), Le grand Monde à l’envers (1919), Deauville by Sem (1920).

Sem spent his last summer in Deauville, in 1934.