Justice in Andorra. Announcement in the Town Square of a Sentencing to Life at Hard Labor


In the 19th century, before the widespread use of photography in newspapers and magazines, the French press used wood engravings to illustrate its publications. This technique, known as woodcut printing, is performed by carving an image out of a piece of wood, generally boxwood, and applying ink to the relief pattern of the piece to engrave the image onto a surface. This engraving was originally published on May 16, 1896, in the Parisian magazine L’Illustration. According to the caption, it shows a sentence of life imprisonment at hard labor being read in a town square in Andorra. The engraving was created from an original photograph that depicted a death sentence being read to Manuel Bacó on February 28, 1886. The sentence was later commuted to hard labor for life. The scene is set in Plaça Guillemó (Guillemo Square) in Andorra La Vella, the capital and main town of the Principality of Andorra. The highlights of the illustration are the vivacity of the faces of the people present in the image as well as of the accuracy with which the facade of Casa Guillemó is depicted. The illustration is by Neapolitan writer and illustrator Gennaro d’Amato (1857‒1947). Among other publications, he worked for well-respected illustrated magazines such as L'Illustration and the British publication the Illustrated London News.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Firmin-Didot, Paris


Title in Original Language

La justice en Andorre. Lecture sur la place publique d'un arrêt de condamnation aux travaux forcés à perpétuité

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : black-and-white woodcut ; 32 x 22 centimeters


  • From L'Illustration, volume 54, number 2777, Saturday, May 16, 1896, page 405

Last updated: June 30, 2016