Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard
The French caricaturist, vignette sketcher, water color artist and lithographer Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard, called Gradville, was born in Nancy on September 3, 1803. His father, too (1767–1854), was a miniature painter and sketcher. At the age of 20, Gradville entered the Parisian studio of Hippolite Lecomtes (1781–1857) in order to study miniature painting as well. However, he soon turned away from painting and learned on his own the craft of lithography.
In 1827 he published his first cycles, for example the twelve color lithographs "Dimanche d’un Bourgeois de Paris ou les Tribulation de la petite propriété". In 1829, the 73 color lithographs "Métamorphoses du jour" appeared, with which Grandville had his first great success. From now on, these animal-human caricatures became his specialty.
The artist began to work for the newly started journal Caricature in 1830, but he had to surrender his place as leader already a year later to Honoré Daumier (1808–79). Later he worked on Charivari, which was started in 1832. After the "September laws" put an end to political caricatures, Grandville turned to illustrating books.
With Denis Auguste Marie Raffet (1804–60), he drew vignettes in 1836 and illustrations in 1838 for the main work, the Voyages de Guliver. He also created the cuts for the fables of Jean de La Fontaine (1621–95) in 1838. With these, he returned to his hommes-bêtes caricature.
Further works are "Scène de la vie des animaux" (1842), "Petites Misères de la vie humaine" (1843), the cuts for Jerôme Palurot (1846) by Reybaud (1799–1879), and the 50 steel engravings "Les Fleurs animées". After difficult strokes of fate, the artist had to be placed in a sanatorium.
Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard died in Paris on March 17, 1847.