Image 2.10 Gargantua,
Honore Daumier, December 16, 1831, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University,
Waltham, Massachusetts (de la Motte, 47).
The most obvious characteristic of the above
image is the size of King Louis-Phillipe; he is ridiculously large
in relation to everything surrounding him. This implies that the
king is of the greatest interest and importance, instead of the
health or happiness of his country. A tiny skyline of Paris can
be seen in the distance, with poor and sickly people in the right-hand
corner. One woman, mostly in white, is apparently too frail to
stand, while another man reaches desperately for some of the food.
The king, already large enough to the point of wasteful, continues
to consume while his Parisian subjects suffer. The king's officials
are all dressed in the same white pants and black coat as Louis-Phillipe,
suggesting that they are less powerful members of a government
which only serves its ruler. Daumier spent 6 months in prison
for the insulting and balsphemous message of this lithograph.
A well known artist, he was also an avid supporter of the Republic,
and was praised as an inspiration for his loyalty to the right
of individual expression. Although this image focuses mailnly
on royalty, much of the caricature art used middle-class people
as their subjects. By targeting a newly politicized social class,
caricature was able to gain immediate appeal. With its control
of the public's attention, each image emphasized aspects of Parisian
life that the artist felt should be changed.