J.J. Grandville and the Charged Image in a Time of Revolution

5186 Words21 Pages
J.J. GRANDVILLE AND THE CHARGED IMAGE IN A TIME OF CENSORSHIP Jean-Ignace-Isidore Gérard, better known as J.J. Grandville, was one of the precursors behind the period of great innovation for French illustrated books that was the 1830s and 1840s. He was born in Nancy, France on September 15, 1803 into a family involved with theatre and art. His father was a miniature painter, and imparted his craft to his talented offspring. His maternal grandparents had been actors at the court of Lorraine, and he later adopted their stage name of Grandville. The artist Maison, on a trip to Nancy, saw Grandville’s work and encouraged him to try his luck in Paris. The exact year when of his arrival is unknown, but the first firm date for Grandville’s productions in the capital of France is 1826. By 1829, when the lithographs The Metamorphoses of the Day were published, Grandville had started to be associated with the satirical human-animal combinations to which he was to recur so often in other works. Censorship during the July Monarchy In 1830, four years after Grandville had moved to Paris, Charles X’s attempt to dissolve the legislature and weaken the press helped provoke the July Revolution, also known as Les trios glorieuses, in which the Bourbons were dethroned and Louis Philippe who belonged to the House of Orléans, was named king. When this happened there were enormous hopes for reforms benefiting the working and middle classes, the major instigators of this revolution, but Louis Philippe quickly became a severe disappointment by resorting to corruption and repression to maintain and enforce power, and by turning a blind eye to the rising tide of urban migration and poverty. Instead of establishing a republic, like many had hoped, the July Revolution resulted in the establishment of yet another monarchy. Among the first acts of Louis Philippe was the proclamation of
Open Document