(Enlarged Photo)

Attributed to J.J Grandville L'Orateur Hyene (The Hyena Orator)

Pen and wash drawing for ‘ La Vie Privee et Publique des Animaux'

Jean Ignace Isidore Gerard (known as J.J Grandville or Granville) is described in the Dictionary of Art & Artists as “an important figure in 19 th century graphic art”.


Working both as a satirical, political cartoonist and an illustrator of books, Grandville's strange and memorable anthropomorphic drawings seem to prefigure artists as various as Salvador Dali and Tenniel and he is often cited as one of the founding fathers of French surrealism.


The drawing we have for sale is possibly an original for Grandville's most famous satirical work: La Vie Privee et Publique des Animaux (The Public and Private Life of Animals), first published in 1842, the year before his premature death.


It depicts an orator – in the shape of a hyena - manically addressing a political assembly with the words: “Il ne s'agit pas d'aboyer, faut mordu” (“It is not a matter of barking, it is necessary to bite”).


Interestingly, the clearly spontaneous inscription at the bottom of the drawing differs from the eventual transcription in the engraving that appeared in later editions of the book, which reads “Il ne s'agit pas d'aboyer ici, mais de mordre” (It is not a matter of barking here but biting”.


Tel: 0791 935 6150        Email simfineart@btinternet.com     1 Royal Parade, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5PG