Profile of J. J. Grandville
Name at birth: Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard
J.J. Grandville was a French illustrator and lithographer known for his fantastical drawings and his satirical caricatures created during the reign of King Louis-Philippe. He made a name for himself in Paris early in his career, with the publication of Les Métamorphoses du jour (The Metamorphoses of the Day, 1829), seventy lithographs depicting human-animal hybrids. The next year, 1830, brought Louis-Philippe to the throne, and for the next five years Grandville published cartoons critical of the king as a betrayer of liberal ideals. Censorship after 1835 drove Grandville to do more book illustrations, including for editions of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Grandville issued prints between 1840 and 1842 of what's known as Les Animaux, a series of captioned animal illustrations poking fun at society and government. Les Animaux was a critical and popular success, but modern artists, especially Surrealists, were more inspired by Grandville's bizarre Un Autre Monde, a collection of anamorphic and fanciful drawings. Grandville died at the age of 43, possibly from a throat infection.
J.J. Grandville took his professional name from his paternal grandparents, who were actors known as “Géard de Grandville.”
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