Beastial

Here in this dehumanizing machine known as Manhattan, there’s a lot to be seen on one’s lunch hour – a slack work-ethic helps.

I went to the Morgan Library to see its exhibit on animals in art, music, and literature.  Yes, there were some bestiaries devoted to the theme of love.  I hope Santorum is alerted.

I was drawn to the show by the magnificent Tegu lizard in the newspaper review:  I love that pose!

The Grandeville satire below is typical of his sly work, which always shows French bourgeois mores in an animal light.  Here a boring teacher drills his students who parrot his words and respond to his demands for conjugation with the fresh lines:  “we are tired; you tire us.”

James Gillray’s early work was filled with animals because that was a very long tradition in satirical caricature, and because, how could he resist?, one of his principal subjects was James Fox, always referred to as Monsieur Reynard.  This print, lacking his later complexity and pizzazz, nevertheless packs a lot into its simple composition.  Note the understated slyness of the fox’s expression, peering down his long muzzle and over his paunch, and the attitudes of the rat-headed retainers.  Art Spiegelman comes to mind, of course.

I love serial small images on paper.  This page is titled, Affordable Animals, and was a cheap Dutch production intended for instructing young children.

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2 Responses to Beastial

  1. cathleendaytx says:

    Thanks for sharing Tegu lizard, these witty drawings and all your film noir reviews.
    I stumbled upon a site of book graphics from around the world.
    Collector Will Shofield gives us more than 100 pages, that appear randomly— a new page of images whenever you check his site.
    http://50watts.com/images/random
    Sometimes, these images tend to be dark, and I have to get in and out quickly.

  2. Lichanos says:

    Thanks for your comment, Ms. Daytx! I too have stumbled upon 50watts. I think it used to be Journey Round My Skull, or something.

    Cheers!

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