Paris: Gustave Havard, 1854. Item #04848
Grandville’s Beast-Headed People
[GRANDVILLE, J.J., illustrator]. Les Métamorphoses du jour. Accompagnées d’un texte par MM. Albéric Second, Louis Lurine, Clément Caraguel, Taxile Delord, H. de Beaulieu, Louis Huart, Charles Monselet, Julien Lemer. Précédées d’une notice sur Grandville par M. Charles Blanc. Paris: Gustave Havard, 1854.
First edition to include the text by Second and others. Octavo (10 7/6 x 6 5/8 inches; 265 x 168 mm.). , xxviii, 283, [1, blank] pp. Seventy hand-colored wood-engraved plates by Mouard, Sotain, and others after the drawings by Grandville.
Contemporary quarter red hard-grain morocco over marbled boards. Smooth spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, sprinkled edges, marbled endpapers. Preliminary leaves and text with light to moderate foxing. The superb hand-colored plates fresh and clean with just a few scattered marginal spots. Aside from the foxing to the text this is really good copy with wonderful coloring of the most famous work by this master of "bitter burlesque" (Ray, p. 198).
These famous drawings of beast-headed people, “which established Grandville’s early style of bitter burlesque” (Ray, p. 198), first appeared in an album of hand-colored lithographs printed by Langlumé in 1829 (and reprinted in 1836). This 1854 edition is the first to include the accompanying text.
“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” (Ray, p. 198).
Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, 132 (describing the 1829 edition). Vicaire, V, cols. 783-787.