Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

modern life. His work has the value, no doubt, of deep and various meaning, but it has also intrinsic artistic worth. M. Willette is, in fact, the ideal delineator of the more voluptuous and highly spiced aspects of contemporary life. “Caran d’Ache,” a native of Moscow, born in 1858, borrowed from the German caricaturists—mainly from W. Busch—his methods of illustrating “a story without words.” He makes fun even of animals, and is a master of canine physiognomy. His simple and unerring outline is a method peculiarly his own; now and again his wit rises to grandiloquence, as in his Bellona, rushing on an automobile through massacre and conflagrations, and in his Épopée (Epic) of shadows thrown on a sheet. Among his followers may be included A. Guillaume and Gerbault. M. C. L. Léandre, born at Champsecret (Orne), in 1862, is, like “André Gill,” a draughtsman of monstrosities; he can get a perfect likeness of a face while exaggerating some particular feature, gives his figure a hump-back, as Dantan did in his statuettes, and has a facial dexterity which sometimes does scant justice to his very original wit. At the same time he has a true sense of beauty. M. Théophile A. Steinlen, born at Lausanne in 1859, went to Paris in 1881. He should be studied in his illustrations to Bruant. He knows the inmost core of the Butte-Montmartre, and depicts it with realistic and brutal relish. M. Albert Robida, born at Compiègne in 1848, collaborated with Decaux in 1871 to found La Caricature; he is a paradoxical seer of the possible future and a curiosity-hunter of the past. Old Paris has no secrets from him; he knows all the old stones and costumes of the middle ages, and has illustrated Rabelais; and for fertility of fancy he reminds us of Gustave Doré, but with a sense of movement so vibrant as to be almost distressing. “Bac,” born at Vienna in 1859, has infused a strain of the Austrian woman into the Parisienne; representing her merely as a pleasure- and love-seeking creature, as the toy of an evening, he has recorded her peccadilloes, her witcheries and her vices. Others who have shot folly as it flies are M. Albert Guillaume, who illustrated the Exhibition of 1900 in a series of remarkable silhouettes; “Mars”; “Henri Somm”; Gerbault; and Grün. M. Huard depicts to perfection the country townsfolk in their elementary psychology. M. Hermann Paul, M. Forain’s not unworthy successor on the Figaro, is a cruel satirist, who in a single face can epitomize a whole class of society, and could catalogue the actors of the comédie humaine in a series of drawings. M. Jean Veber loves fantastic subjects, the gnomes of fairy-tales and myths; but he has a biting irony for contemporary history, as in the Butcher’s Shop, where Bismarck is the blood-stained butcher. M. Abel Faivre, a refined and charming painter, is a whimiscal humorist with the pencil. He shows us monstrous women, fabulously hideous, drawing them with a sort of realism which is droll by sheer ugliness. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec startles us by extraordinary dislocations, scrawled limbs and inexplicable anatomy; he has left an inimitable series of sketches of Mme Yvette Guilbert when she was at her thinnest. M. Felix Vallotton reproduces crows in blots of black with a Japanese use of the brush. M. G. Jeanniot, a notable illustrator, sometimes amuses himself by contributing to Le Rire, Le Sourire, Le Pompon, L’Assiette au Beurre, &c., drawing the two types he most affects: the fashionable world and soldiers. M. Ibels, Capiello and many more might be enumerated, but it is impossible to chronicle all the clever humorous artists of the illustrated papers.

It is the frequent habit of French caricaturists to employ a nom-de-guerre. We therefore give here a list of the genuine names represented by the pseudonyms used above, together with others familiar to the public:—

“André Gill” = L. A. Gosset de Guine (1840–1885).
“Bac” (“Cab” and “Saro”)  = Ferdinand Bach (b. 1859).
“Caran d’Ache” = Emmanuel Poiré.
“Cham” = Comte Amédée de Noé (b. 1818).
“Crafty” = Victor Gérusez (b. 1840).
“Draner” (and “Paf”) = Jules Renard (b. 1833).
“Faustin” = Faustin Betbeder (b. 1847).
“Gavarni” = S. G. Chevalier (1804–1866).
“Gédéon” = Gédéon Baril (b. 1832).
“Grandville” = J. I. I. Gérard (1803–1847).
“Henriot” (and “Piff”) = Henri Maigrot (b. 1857).
“Henri Somm” = Henri Sommier (b. 1844).
“Job” = J. O. de Bréville (b. 1858).
“Marcelin” = Émile Planat (1825–1887).
“Mars” = Maurice Bonvoisin (b. 1849).
“Moloch” = Colomb (b. 1849).
“Montbard” = C. A. Loye (1841–1905).
“Nadar” = Félix Tournachon (b. 1820).
“Pasquin” = Georges Coutan (b. 1853).
“Pépin” = Ed. Guillaume (b. 1842).
“Randon” = Gilbert (1814–1845).
“Sahib” = L. E. Lesage (b. 1847).
“Said” = Alphonse Lévy (b. 1845).
“Sem” = George Goursat.
“Stop” = L. P. Morel-Retz (b. 1825).

Germany.—During the later 19th century German caricature flourished principally in the comic papers Kladderadatsch of Berlin and Fliegende Blätter of Munich; the former a political paper with little artistic value, in which the ideas alone are clever, whilst the illustrations are merely a more or less clumsy adjunct to the text, while the Fliegende Blätter, on the contrary, has artistic merit as well as wit. Wilhelm Busch (b. 1832), the most brilliant German draughtsman of the last generation, made his dêbut with an illustrated poem “The Peasant and the Miller,” and won a world-wide reputation with the following works: Pater Filucius, Die Fromme Helene, Max und Moritz, Der heilige Antonius, Maler Kleksel, Balduin Bählamm, Die Erlebnisse Knopps des Junggesellen. Busch stands alone among the caricaturists of his nation, inasmuch as he is both the author and the illustrator of these works, his witty doggerel supplying Germany with household words. The drawings that accompany the text are amazing for the skill and directness with which he hits the vital mark. A flourish or two and a few touches are enough to set before us figures of intensely comical aspect. This distinguishes Busch from Adolf Oberländer (1845), who became the chief draughtsman on Fliegende Blätter. Busch’s drawings would have no meaning apart from the humorous words. Oberländer works with the pencil only. Men, animals, trees, objects, are endowed by him with a mysterious life of their own. Without the help of any verbal joke, he achieves the funniest results simply by seeing and accentuating the comical side of everything. His drawings are caricature in the strict sense of the word, its principle being the exaggeration of some natural characteristic. The new generation of contributors to Fliegende Blätter do not work on these lines. Busch and Oberländer were both offshoots of the romantic school; they made fun of modern novelties. Hermann Schlittgen, Meggendorfer, H. Vogel-Plauen, Réne Reinicke, Adolf Hengeler and Fritz Wahle are the sons of a self-satisfied time, triumphing in its own chic, elegance and grace; hence they do not parody what they see, but simply depict it. The wit lies exclusively in the text; the illustrations aim merely at a direct representation of street or drawing-room scenes. It is this which gives to Fliegende Blätter its value as a pictorial record of the history of German manners. Its pages are a permanent authority on the subject for those who desire to see the social aspects of Germany during the last quarter of the 19th century onwards. At the same time a falling-off in the brilliancy of this periodical was perceptible. Its fun became domestic and homely; it has faithfully adhered to the old technique of wood-engraving, and made no effort to keep pace with the modern methods of reproduction. German caricature, to live and flourish, was not keeping pace with the development of the art; it had to take into its service the gay effects of colour, and derive fresh inspiration from the sweeping lines of the ornamental draughtsman. This led to the appearance of three new weekly papers: Jugend, Das Narrenschiff and Simplicissimus. Jugend, started in 1896 by Georg Hirth in Munich, collected from the first a group of gifted young artists, more especially Thöny, Bernhard Pankok and Julius Diez, who based their style on old German wood-engraving; Fidus, who lavished the utmost beauty of line in unshaded pen-and-ink work; Rudolf Wilke, whose grotesques have much in common with Forain’s clever drawings; Angelo Jank and R. M. Eichler, who work with a delightful bonhomie. Among the draughtsmen on the Narrenschiff (The Ship of Fools), Hans Baluschek is worthy of mention as having made the types of Berlin life all his own; and while this paper gives us for the most part inoffensive satire on society, Simplicissimus, first printed at Munich and then at Zurich, under the editorship of Albert Langen, shows a marked Socialist and indeed Anarchist tendency, subjecting to ridicule and mockery everything that has hitherto been held as unassailable by such weapons; it reminds us of the scathing satire of Honoré Daumier in La Caricature at the time of Louis Philippe. Thomas Theodor Heine (1867) is unsurpassed in this style for his power of expression and variety of technique. We must admire his delicate draughtsmanship, or again, his drawing of the figure with the heavy line of heraldic ornament, and his broad and monumental grasp of the grotesque. His laughter is often insolent, but he is more often the preacher, scourge in hand, who ruthlessly unveils all the dark side of life. Next to him come Paul, an incomparable limner of student life and the manners and customs of the Bavarian populace; E. Thöny, a wonderfully clever caricaturist of the airs and assumption of the Prussian Junker and the Prussian subaltern; J. C. Eugh and F. von Regnieck, who make fun of the townsman and political spouter in biting and searching satire. The standard of caricature is at the present time a high one in Germany; indeed, the modern adoption of the pen-line, which has arisen since the impressionists in oil-painting repudiated line, had its origin in the influence of caricature.

United States.—The proverbial irreverence of the American mind even towards its most cherished personages and ideals has made it particularly responsive to the appeal of caricature. At first an importation, it developed but slowly; then it burst into luxuriant growth, sometimes exceeding the limits of wise and careful cultivation. In the early period of American caricature, almost the only native is F. O. C. Darley (1822–1888), an illustrator of some importance; the other names include the engraver Paul Revere (chiefly famous for a picturesque exploit in the War of Independence); a Scotsman, William Charles; the Englishmen, Matt Morgan and E. P. Bellew; and the Germans, Thomas Nast and Joseph Keppler.

The name of Thomas Nast overshadows and sums up American

political caricature. Nast, who was born in Bavaria in 1840, was