October 30, 2007

Grandville visionary

Jean-Ignace-Isidore Gerard, said Jean-Jacques Grandville, is the illustrator who left his mark, by his inventiveness and his talent as a cartoonist, on the Romantic movement, both literary and artistic, of the first half of the nineteenth century. Formed in the city of Nancy, in the atelier of his father, portraitist and miniaturist, Grandville joins Paris at the age of twenty. In 1829, he knows his first success with Les Métamorphoses du Jour, satire of the social and political life. Through hybrid characters, men by body and animals by the facial appearance, Grandville teases the ridiculous and pretentious of his time, and makes fun of the July Monarchy. His satirical drawings, yet liked by publishers, bother Adolphe Thiers who promulgates, under Louis-Philippe, a law requiring a prior authorization for the publication of drawings.

From 1835 Grandville illustrates books (Fables of La Fontaine, Gulliver's Travels, Robinson Crusoe, Fables of Florian, Don Quixote, etc). Grandville is never happy with his work, spends an incredible amount of time on each drawing. He continues his exploration of zoomorphic beings with Scènes de la vie privée et publiques de Animaux (1842). He is also interested in dreams and visions. The fantasy of Un Autre Monde (1844), Fleurs Animées (1947) and Etoiles (1849) disturb the public who do not recognize the spirit of the satirical cartoonist and prefer more traditional albums like Cent proverbes ( 1845).
In the last years of his life, Grandville goes through many personal difficulties among which the loss of a child. He speaks little, discovers strange shapes in every surrendings. His madness crisis worry his contemporaries.
Interned in an Asylum for Insane of the city of Vanves, Grandville died in 1847, at the age of forty-four, leaving behind this epitaph: "Here lies Grandville, he loved everything, made everything live, speak and walk, alone, he did not know how to find his way. "
Grandville shown throughout his career an amazing ability to transform everyday life in a fantasy world. His prodigious imagination appoints him as a precursor of surrealism.
(source : http://www.galerietroncin.com - wikipedia.fr).

Currently, the Librairie Loliée can offer :
  • Grandville - Swift. Voyages de Gulliver..., Paris, Fournier, Furne, 1838, 2 volumes in-8, binding from the period.
  • Grandville. Scènes de la Vie Privée et Publique des Animaux, Paris, Hetzel et Paulin, 1842, 2 volumes grand in-8, binding by Champs.
  • Grandville- Florian. Fables. Paris, J.J. Dubochet et Cie, 1842, in-8, binding by Mercier.
  • Grandville. Un autre Monde. Paris, Fournier, 1844, in-4, binding by Champs.
  • Grandville - Reybaud. Jérôme Paturot à la recherche d'une position sociale. Paris, Dubochet, 1846, grand in-8, binding by Champs.
  • Grandville. Les Métamorphoses du jour, 1854, grand in-8, binding by Hans Harper.