Another World

Un Autre Monde-Grandville 1844
Un Autre Monde-J.J Grandville 1844

One of the acknowledged precursors of Surrealism, the work of French caricaturist J.J Grandville was featured in Documents magazine and is discussed at length in Walter Benjamin’s vast and fragmentary study of the urban redevelopment of Paris by Baron Haussmann, The Arcades Project (Passagen-Werk). He rose to fame in 1828 with Les Métamorphoses du jour, a book with seventy illustrations of animal heads transposed upon human bodies. However the book that really grabbed the Surrealists attention is Un Autre Monde (Another World), a strange and outlandish satire whose principal target would appear to be the ideas of the Utopian Socialist Charles Fourier.

His influence can be seen in another Surrealist favourite, John Tenniel, the political cartoonist for Punch magazine who famously illustrated the Alice books.

Below are a selection of illustrations from Un Autre Monde and other works.

Un Autre Monde-J.J Grandville-1844
Un Autre Monde-J.J Grandville-1844
Un Autre Monde-J.J Grandville 1844
Un Autre Monde-J.J Grandville 1844
Dream of Crime and Punishment-J.J Grandville 1847
Dream of Crime and Punishment-J.J Grandville 1847
Second Dream: A Stroll in the Sky-J.J Grandville 1847
Second Dream: A Stroll in the Sky-J.J Grandville 1847

34 thoughts on “Another World

  1. Oooh, those illustrations are marvellous… I’m especially fond of the last one of the mushroom turning into an umbrella, owl and eventually horse-drawn waggon. Seems pretty randomly assorted. Love it. Thank you for digging this out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The illustrations are absolutely wonderful. I especially like the eye to the fish, and the mushroom to horse drawn carriage metamorphoses. Just my cup of tea. Thank you for sharing, Mr. Cake.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Weird but whimsical. I can imagine paging through such a collection over and over again. Finding a new detail each time or finding a previously unrealized connection to something else. I know how you love your connections!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Miss Cranes, amazing how I tenuously link everything to Surrealism, but this one is on somewhat surer footing. Walter Benjamin was one of the first critics to engage with Surrealism (he was ambiguous) and the Arcades Project is full of Grandville. Trust you are also well.

      Liked by 1 person

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