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“There comes a time when he who is hiding needs to show himself, he who flees seeks to confront, he who is silent suddenly speaks, he who fears faces up to his fear, and that moment had come for The Deserter.”


Le Déserteur © Gallimard

What a curious destiny it was for this mysterious character, who created such enchanting images! Most of them feature three calligraphy initials in capital letters by way of a signature: CFB. A few rare images have more to say – on those are written ‘Charles-Frédéric Brun’ but to date that first and last name has never been found within any official records. There is no information on his date or place of birth, his education, or on the circumstances or reasons around his arrival at Trétien (at Le Valais) in autumn 1843. Such a shady background has resulted in the moniker that has made him so well-known these days: The Deserter!

In the box in the bottom right hand part are the three letters that serve as a signature: C.F.B, for Charles-Frédéric Brun.

Chaö pâ méi âvoue me tapî.

I didn’t know what to do with myself, like the Deserter who was hiding from the police.

 Where was The Deserter to appear at Nendaz? ?

34 x 23 cm. © Robert Hofer, Sion

How do you sign your drawings? Do you put your first name, your initials, or your full name? Is it easy to read, or is a stylised scribble?

Sentier Déserteur