The use of caricature to comment satirically on politics and society was extremely popular in the early nineteenth century.
The artist Honoré Daumier had already raised the genre to a new level, and there were lots of magazines with caricatural illustrations.
Daumier was an inexhaustible source of inspiration for fin-de-siècle printmakers, many of whom also worked as illustrators, including Henri-Gabriel Ibels.
They were the first to apply elements of caricature on a large scale in ‘high’ art.
It was not only in France that printmakers found inspiration for a caricatural style — Japanese woodblock prints, which played a defining role in the development of fin-de-siècle printmaking, also frequently include grimacing figures in absurd poses.
Judith Wechsler, A Human Comedy: Physiognomy and Caricature in 19th century Paris, London 1982
Judith Wechsler (red.), ‘The Issue of Caricature’, Art Journal 43 (1983), nr. 4
Patricia Eckert Boyer (red.), The Nabis and the Parisian Avant-Garde, New Brunswick 1988