Grandville Golden Calf

Grandville Golden Calf
Grandville Golden Calf
Anonim

When talking about the French illustrators of the 19th century, the first name that usually comes to mind is Gustave Doré, a true master of the illustration technique of literary works such as Don Quixote or the Fables of La Fontaine. But Doré is not the only artist in that field. There were more and among them also stands out J. J. Grandville (1803 – 1847), whose real name was Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard.

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Grandville Golden Calf

Grandville was also commissioned to illustrate the two books we've talked about, as well as great novels like Robinson Crusoe orGulliver's Travels. However, if his work as an illustrator is really important and valuable, what distinguished him at the time was his caricatures and satirical tone drawings.

During his short life, which also ended up alone in an asylum, he made several series of lithographs and in many of them the satirical tone was underpinned by the presence of animals with human features, which always leads to critical tone

That is the case in this work of the Golden Calf published in 1844 within his lithographic series Another World. It's a tremendously advanced image for his time, as he is making a fierce criticism of capitalist and consumerist society, and we are in the middle of the 19th century!

introduces us theadoration that society has for money, embodied in the golden calf with a clear religious reference. He is like a god who even carries his scepter with the cross and a globe. He presents us with a kind of religious procession where he worships the idol and carries it on his shoulders. In this case by three figures (the fourth is not seen). Those fully clothed figures for a huge bill are a European banker, an Israeli priest and a Caribbean pirate. All this in the foreground, because in the background and in a small way you can see the crowd that bows to the passing of the idol, the Golden Calf, the we alth of money. And among those people who bow to him are more church figures and even an emperor.

Without a doubt it is an image of absolute modernity, in reality Grandville's cartoonist work is still perfectly understandable today. Perhaps that is why it has been present or has inspired some contemporary works. Without going any further, it has been used for book covers by Julio Cortázar and even appears on a record by the rock group Queen.

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