|Grandville, his illustrations and caricature: The Juggler's Cat|
Grandville illustrations and caricature - JJ Grandville, Un Autre Monde: Juggler of Universes
The painting is inspired by the illustration 'Juggler of Universes' by the great French caricaturist Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard (1803–1847), also known as J. J. Grandville (Grandville being his grandparents' stage name). In 1824 he lived in Paris and soon published his first illustrations. With the publication of 'Les Métamorphoses du jour' in 1829 he soon became famous as a caricaturist. The book contained seventy scenes of a comedy play featuring anthropomorphic persons with human bodies and heads of animals such as Dogs, Pigs and Birds. Human expressions and characteristics are extraordinarily well represented in the animals’ faces. Based on this success he contributed illustrations to various periodicals ('Le Silhouette', 'La Caricature' and others) that were widely spread thanks to the upcoming of the printing industry. His fantastic and sometimes surrealistic drawings became very popular. He also illustrated newspaper strips and had a big success with 'Les Fleurs Animées' - a series of satirical illustrations - and mostly with his surrealistic illustrations to the book 'L'Autre Monde'.
Grandville influenced many illustrators and the movement of surrealism in general. The graphic novel 'Grandville' by Bryan Talbot in 2009 was mainly inspired by Grandville’s work.
The Rock band Queen used his illustrations as album cover and booklet illustrations of 'Innuendo' (released 1991). Freddy Mercury, Queen’s very creative and talented singer was a lover of cats. The cat trying to catch the World is a reference to him. Of course, it also symbolises the drama-comedy of the planet Earth: Like countless other planets it started out as a red ball of fire, but against all odds it cooled down, turned green and became full of life, only to end up as a toy in the claws of a playing cat.
To learn more about Grandville's illustrations see also the following related topicsIllustrations by JJ Grandville - Grandville's Juggler of the Universes