Paris: Chez l’auteur et chez Alphonse Giroux, 1818. Item #03767
Isabey’s Grotesque and Indelicate Caricatures
[ISABEY, Jean-Baptiste. Caricatures de J.J. Paris: Chez l’auteur et chez Alphonse Giroux, 1818.
First edition. Title from front wrapper. Oblong folio (10 3/8 x 14 inches; 263 x 356 mm.). Twelve numbered hand-colored lithographed plates loose in wrappers as issued. Plates lithographed by C. Motte.
Original pink lithographed wrappers (11 1/8 x 15 inches; 282 x 382 mm.). Minimal dust soiling to plate margins and wrappers. A very fine copy, housed in a fleece-lined quarter black morocco clamshell case.
“These twelve pseudonymous designs were the pastimes of Jean-Baptiste Isabey, a miniature painter of repute, who was the father of Eugène Isabey. Of great verve and spirit in themselves, their grotesque figures, tall or short, fat or thin, provide a link with English caricature of the previous quarter of a century, particularly the work of Thomas Rowlandson. Isabey’s situations are as gross and indelicate as his people. Indeed, ‘A game of whist’ (plate X) is among the least outré of his designs. This album foreshadows what was to be the prevailing style among caricaturists of manners in the early 1820s…The series is far livelier than another set of lithographs by Isabey, to which he signed his name, the thirty plates of his Voyage en Italie of 1822” (Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book).
“Cette suite de caricatures est intéressante pour les modes de l’epoque [This series of caricatures is interesting for the costumes of the time]” (Colas).
Colas 1519. Hiler, p. 468. Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, 101.