Les Bonnes Têtes Musicales

Rare Suite of Hand-Colored Lithographed Caricatures of Musicians

BOUCHOT, Frédéric, [Illustrator]. Les Bonnes Têtes Musicales. Paris: Chez Aubert & Cie., [ca. 1830].

Folio. (13 1/4 x 9 7/8 inches; 337 x 247 mm.). Twenty-two (of thirty) hand-colored lithographed plates heightened with gum arabic.

Loose in cloth clamshell case. Minimal browning, not affecting images; foxing to plate no. 1. Very scarce; only one copy in OCLC, at Harvard (with only 23 plates; no complete copies). Not in Hiler or Lipperheide.

Bouchot's delightful suite of caricatures that gently puncture the pretensions and satirize the realities of the music teacher, student, composer, conductor, amateur and professional performer, and the home musicale.

"French romantic lithography extended from 1817 to the 1850's. It is perhaps the greatest of all schools in the history of the medium" (Ray, p. 155). Artists like Bouchet, Gavarni, and Daumier were masters of lithography, depicting Paris life, manners, and dress with a vulgar and bawdy twist. Musicians are rare subjects for caricature and this series of hand-colored lithographed plates by Bouchet is seldom offered.

A leading French lithographic caricaturist and illustrator, Frederic Bouchot regularly contributed to such publications as Le Charivari, La Caricature, and Journal pour rire. He also collaborated on individually published albums with such artists as Daumier and Morin. He is known primarily for his depictions of musical subjects and domestic scenes.

The Plates:
1. Un accord peu parfait
2. Exécution brillante d'une sonate à vingt doigts
3. Syrènes des Champs Elysées
4. Etudes consciencieuses sur de nouveaux instrumens de Mr. Sax
5. L'infortuné professeur de solfège
6. Etude sérieuse de la Marseillaise
7. Après un bal de noces
8. Un rival de Musard
9. Le petit prodige
10. Musique de la Garde Nationale-Section des instrumens honteux
11. Ouverture de Robin des Bois arrangée pour deux flûtes
12. Compositeur de chansonnettes, depuis huit jours à la recherche d'un refrain facile
13. Un homme du bel air, étudiant celui du roi Dagobert
14. Exercices du Matin-Si…ré…si…ré…si…ré!…
15. Musique d'aveugle, goutée seulement par les sourds
16. Une leçon qui se passe en soupirs
17. Une note sensible
18. Une quinte intempestive
19. Un élève qui a la tête dure
20. Du poing et due contre-poing
21. Amateurs à la recherche du la
22. Leçon donnée au milieu du plus religieux silence. Item #01135

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