Original Signed Grandville French Engraving 'Hortensia' 1867.
This exquisite original Victorian hand colored engraving is from the pen of JJ Grandville. From Les Fleurs Animees 1867 edition by Garnier Freres Editeurs~Paris.
Entitled 'Hortensia Couronne Imperiale' (hydrangea crown imperial) it is of a rather surreal design for the early Victorian period in which it was created. Grandville is now recognized as a significant inspiration for the Surrealism movement.
Depicting a framed portrait of an attractive young woman adrift on a sprig of purple hydrangea. Above her head flies a large German eagle complete with cape and in the background is a mountain with flag atop.
"Les Grecs et les Romains adoraient les coronnes de fleurs" so begins a long poem by JJ Grandville about the universal love of the floral coronet throughout history!
Les Fleurs Animees series were delightful drawings of flowers disguised as lovely maidens. Charmingly costumed in leaves and floral garlands and usually accompanied by small creatures from the animal kingdom.
Measuring 11" x 7" the engraving is signed in the plate by both JJ Grandville and Ch. Geoffroy. The colors are exquisite. This is an original engraving from 1847 and not a modern re print and as such is in good Antique condition with minimal age toning, some slight smudges in the margins and an age related stain on the right edge. None of which would be visible when framed.
"This engraving stands as both a beautiful and scarce example of Victorian caricature art" Claude Reyberat~Catalogue Bibliographique et Biologique (Paris 1985).
Known by the pseudonym JJ Grandville, the French caricature artist was actually Jean Ignace Isador Gerard (1803-1847). He first gained fame in 1828 with his Les Metamorphosis du Jour series of drawings depicting individuals with the bodies of men and the faces of animals, but Les Fleurs Animees was known to be his favourite.
I will be listing more wonderful engravings by JJ Granville.
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