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  • 19th c. French Framed Paul Gavarni Illustration

  • $345.00

  • This special piece was discovered at a Parisian antiques market and was produced by the French artist, illustrator and caricaturist Paul Gavarni (1804-1866 and originally named Sulpice-Guillaume Chevalier).  Caricature of a man in the guise of Pierrot is signed "Gavarni" in traces of red chalk, pen and red ink, and uses a pink and brown wash and heightened with white.  

    He is said to have taken his nom de plume from the place where he made his first published sketch. He was born in Paris of poor parents, and started in life as a workman in an engine-building factory. At the same time he attended the free school of drawing. In his first attempts to turn his abilities to some account he met with many disappointments, but was at last entrusted with the drawing of some illustrations for a journal of fashion. Gavarni was then thirty-four years of age. His sharp and witty pencil gave to these generally commonplace and unartistic figures a life-likeness and an expression which soon won for him a name in fashionable circles. Gradually he gave greater attention to this more congenial work, and finally ceased working as an engineer to become the director of the journal Les Gens du monde.

    His ambition rising in proportion to his success, Gavarni from this time followed the real bent of his inclination, and began a series of lithographed sketches, in which he portrayed the most striking characteristics, foibles and vices of the various classes of French society. The letterpress explanations attached to his drawings were always short, but were forcible and highly humorous, if sometimes trivial, and were admirably adapted to the particular subjects. The different stages through which Gavarni's talent passed, always elevating and refining itself, are well worth being noted. 

    The piece itself measures 12 1/4 inches x 8 1/8 inches and is artfully floated within a metallic wood frame which overall measures 12 inches wide by 18 1/4" tall.  Looks equally at home within spaces incorporating silver or gold and also stunning as a tabletop piece on an easel.

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