The Print, the Pear, and the Prostitute: Art, Politics, and Society in 19th-Century France

USA TODAY, August 2006 | Go to article overview

The Print, the Pear, and the Prostitute: Art, Politics, and Society in 19th-Century France


Louis-Philippe, the Orleanist "citizen-king," ruled during the period of France's July Monarchy (1830-48). A devoted husband and father of eight, he promoted the image of a bourgeois family man and defined his rule as representing juste-milieu--the middle ground, "equally distant from the abuses of royal power and the excesses of popular power."

His popularity, however, was short-lived. Relentlessly assaulted by caricaturists and even brought up on charges of lese-majeste--violating the dignity of the king; he was sentenced to prison for six months and fined 2,000 francs for the offense--Louis-Philippe saw his reign end with the Revolution of 1848. Forced into exile, he died in England in 1850 at age 77.

Perhaps his most pointed and famous critic was Honore-Victorin Daumier (1808-79), whose long and prolific career spanned both the July Monarchy and the Second Empire (1852-70). The work of Daumier, as well as that of Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Auguste Bouquet, Paul Gavarni, Auguste Desperret, and Jean Ignace Isidore Gerard (known as Grandville), among others, will be on display in "The Print, the Pear, and the Prostitute: Art Politics, and Society in 19th-Century France."

The exhibition--on view at Amherst (Mass.) College's Mead Art Museum through Aug. 20--ranges from satirical representations of King Louis-Philippe, depicted as a fat-headed pear, to images of the various types of women who defined 19th-century Parisian society. At the time, political and social caricature in France was considered more dangerous than the printed word.

Auguste Desperret, "Untitled," hand-colored lithograph (1833).

Atop three cages, Louis-Philippe sits with his back to the viewer in order to preserve anonymity; however, the toupee, whiskers, and pear shape reveal his identity. The three cages represent the Parisian prisons of Blaye, Ste. Pelagie, and La Force; the King, as jailor, grips the keys in his hand. Imprisoned in the upper cage is the Duchesse de Berri, daughter-in-law of Charles X and the mother of five-year-old legitimist pretender Henri V. Her aspirations for her son's ascension to the throne threatened Orleanist rule, so she was incarcerated. The print mocks the fact that Louis-Philippe actually was in favor of prison reform. For artists of the time who had been imprisoned for their political caricatures, the prison theme was imbued with a sense of the loss of freedom in a society that supposedly valued liberty for all.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Auguste Bouquet, "The Pear's Whiskers/Favorites," hand-colored lithograph (1833). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Print, the Pear, and the Prostitute: Art, Politics, and Society in 19th-Century France
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.