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Les métamorphoses du Jour

J.J. Grandville
Paris: Chez Bulla
Baudelaire Collection, Vanderbilt University Special Collections

While in Paris, Grandville published Les métamorphoses du jour in 1829 with great success. With the anthropomorphized images, the artist commented on Parisian society using parody and satire with menagerie of fantasy creatures who assume human anatomy. The images are characterized in Grandville’s early style as bright and colorful, crisp edges, focused.

The library’s edition of this book is very rare, as it includes the suppressed plates that criticized the government and the church.  In the Family of Beetles, Grandville characterizes the clergy as an extravagantly robed group of parading beetles, perceived as anticlerical, but his ability to capture the foibles and follies of humanity furthered his popularity.