françois_schuitenL’ombre d’un doute (The shadow of a doubt)
François Schuiten

François Schuiten was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1956. His father, Robert Schuiten, and his mother, Marie-Madeleine De Maeyer, were both architects. He has five brothers and sisters, one of whom is also an architect.

His love of architecture became apparent in the series Cities of the Fantastic [originally published as Les Cités obscures], an evocation of fantastic, partly imaginary cities that he created with his friend Benoît Peeters from 1983 for the Belgian monthly comics magazine (À Suivre). Every story focuses on one city or building, and further explores a world where architects, urbanists, and ultimately “urbatects”, are the leading powers and architecture is the driving force behind society.

Inspired by artists and scientists alike, Schuiten’s work can be considered to mix the mysterious worlds of René Magritte, the early scientific fantasies of Jules Verne, the graphical worlds of M. C. Escher and Gustave Doré, and the architectural visions of Victor Horta and Étienne-Louis Boullée. The creative synergy between Schuiten’s work and the books of Jules Verne culminated in 1994 when he was asked to illustrate and design a cover for the publication of Verne’s rediscovered book Paris in the Twentieth Century.

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