This Monday's manuscript offering is a scrapbook of original sketches and notes by French artist J. J. Grandville (1803-1847), a caricaturist and proto-Surrealist. Grandville was the pseudonym of Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard. Along with cartoonists such as Honoré Daumier, Grandville lampooned the political and aristocratic rulers of France in the pages of Le Caricature and Le Charivari and became well known as a caricaturist. Unlike Daumier, Grandville abandoned political caricature for book illustration after censorship laws were reinstated in 1835. His first book-length work was a satirical study of the class system called Les Metamorphoses du Jour. Grandville’s book illustrations feature elements of the symbolic, dreamlike and incongruous, and they retain a sense of social commentary. His art often blends human features with the characteristics of animals or inanimate objects in order to make a satirical point.
The scrapbook in Special Collections was assembled from clippings and fragments of original notes and sketches; some appear to have been taken from a day planner. A study of the sketchbook was recently published by Clive Getty: The diary of J.J. Grandville and the Missouri album : the life of an opposition caricaturist and romantic book illustrator in Paris under the July monarchy (2010). Special Collections also has several published titles by Grandville, including French and English editions of Les fleurs animées, Un autre monde, and Les métamorphoses du jour.