Paris: Chez Bulla, 1829. Item #02600
Complete With the Two Suppressed Plates
GRANDVILLE, J.J. (Illustrator). Les Metamorphoses du jour. Paris: Chez Bulla, 1829.
The exceptionally rare first edition of this famous series of political caricatures complete with the suppressed plates. Oblong folio (9 3/4 x 13 3/16 in; 248 x 336 mm). Original lithographed front wrapper dated 1829 bound in at front. Seventy-three hand-colored lithographed plates.
Handsomely bound by DeVauchelle (stamped signed) in half straight grain crimson morocco over patterned boards. Gilt lettered, ruled and elaborately tooled spine. A few of the plates with some light marginal foxing, a few plates with heavier foxing (plates nos 7; 8; 13; 14; 17; 20; 24; 26; 27; 39; 44). A handsomely bound and fine copy.
Very scarce in this, the first edition and exceptionally rare with the two 'suppressed' plates.
"This famous album, which established Granville's early stye of bitter burlesque, has become rare. Indeed, it is known to many of his admirers only through the greatly inferior album of seventy wood-engraved reproductions published by Harvard in 1854…Lust, gluttony, anger, and the other deadly sins are stigmatized, now with the blow of a hammer, now with the thrust of a stiletto; while the foibles and humors of mankind also receive due attention. Throughout the series Grandville's choice of beast-heads is inspired; and the force of his conceptions and the wit of his captions rarely falter. Occasionally, he produces a design of universal application that calls Goya to mind, as in the bat and owl creatures bewildered by the sunshine of 'The light that hurts them' (no. 12). Perhaps his most terrifying plate is 'Ménagerie (no. 67), which shows four prison cells. In the first are complacent commercial offenders, enjoying all the comforts of home; in the second violent criminals, sly or stupid; in the third murderers, one with a countenance of the utmost ferocity; in the forth, political prisoners, quiet and despondent…Granville turned to direct political satire in his final plates, but the publication of his onslaughts on church ('Famille des scarabées' no. 72) and state ('Une bête féroce,' no. 73) was not permitted in France" (Ray).
Vicaire V, 775-780. Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, 132. Backer 762.