Paris: City of Light

Caricature Attacks Politics


Parisian Salons
 ~Salons of   Enlightenment
 ~Madame de   Stäel         
~Salons of the   Restoration
 ~The Salons of   Victor Hugo

Influence of Printed Materials
 ~Pre-Revolutionary   Timeline
 ~Post-Revolutionary   Timeline


Defining the Parisians
 ~Parisians Viewed   by Foreigners
 ~Parisians   Viewed by   Themselves
 ~Paris Fashion




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.