Here is my fourth musing in the series focused on French illustrators. They have been and are superb at caricatures, drollery, the grotesque and the absurd. You will see all these traits in today’s featured book. In fact, you will find the illustrations in this book, published in 1843, to be similar in vein to those in the second book in this series (Musing # 104, March 26) featuring the work of Grandville, published in 1845.
The illustrator of today’s book is Tony Johannot (1803 – 1852). He was a painter who was involved in the development of lithography in France. His historical paintings were exhibited at the Paris Salon for the first time in 1831, when he was only 18. He became an illustrator much prized for his elegance, his diversity, and the lively character of his drawings – for sure as you will see! He was praised by Théophile Gautier - Tony Johannot can be called, without fear of contradiction, the king of illustration.
This book was entry #186 in Gordon Ray’s “The Art of the French Illustrated Book”, published by the Pierpont Morgan Library in 1986.
Voyage ou IL VOUS PLAIRA par Tony Johannot – Alfred de Musset et P.-J. Stahl; Publie
par J. Hetzel, Editeur, Paris, 1843.
The next photo is the frontispiece to the book, and I don’t know if you will able to see the word
“Introduction” at the top of the gapping maw. And so, in they go!
And what job could three handsome fellows be candidates for?
The next 2 photos almost look like they could be illustrations for Faust!
Have I used the adjective “spectral” yet? Suitable for the horses that follow.