Caricature in France
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