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Morpho Gallery » J.J. Grandville

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J.J. Grandville


JJ. Grandville ( Jean Ignace Isidore Gerard), was born in France on Sept 15, 1803 and died in Paris on Mar. 17, 1874. Gerard was a French caricaturist, fantasist, illustrator and graphic artist noted for his inventive political and social satire. Like many of the famous caricaturists of the period such as Honore Daumier, Grandville worked for Charles Philipon, contributing drawings to the periodicals La Caricature and Le Charivari. His satirical series included Metamorphoses du Jour (present-day Metamorphoses, 1829), Un Autre Monde Another World, 1844), and Scenes de la Vie Privee et Publique des Animaux (1842 - Public and Private Life of Animals).

He created the illustrations for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1838), Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1840) and Chevalier’s Don Quichotte de la Manche (1848). Grandville’s fantastic anthropomorphic figures combining human and animal characteristics have been considered among the sources for Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. It has also been said that he was an influence on Dore, Hugo, Kafka, and Walt Disney.
Bibliography: Appelbaum, Stanley, ed., Bizarreries and Fantasies of Grandville (1974).
Les Fleurs Animées are a series of delightful Victorian prints illustrating flowers personified in the form of lovely maidens and their animal followers. Each early 19th-century charming female figure is richly costumed in the leaves, blossoms and garlands that designate her flower. She presides in an appropriate ‘natural’ setting, often surrounded by anthropomorphized insects and birds that pay her homage. This was Grandville’s favorite work displaying his fascination with an animated and psychological fertile natural world.

Gordon Ray, Art of the French Illustrated Book, 198: “A little world is created, governed by its own laws. His first biographer wrote: “The Fleurs Animées are the very thought of Grandville; they were his favorite work, the work into the execution of which he put all that was in him of poetic and gracious originality, of dexterity of mind and observation, of that prodigious perspicacity which made divine affinities hitherto unperceived by anyone and discover new worlds.”

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