The French caricaturist Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard, working under the pseudonym of J.J. Grandville, created a number of plates for French magazines including Le Silhouette, L’Artiste, Le Charivari, and La Caricature. This satirical scene denounces the repressive actions of the French government under Louis-Philippe, which sought to limit freedom of the press and personal expression. The image presents a man being stabbed in the back and pelted with a rain of iconic objects, including pears (representing Louis-Philippe), crutches (Talleyrand, who was then ambassador in London), a parsley pot (Jean-Charles Persil who attacked the newspapers as a prosecutor under Louis-Philippe), guns, chains, keys, bolts, cross, medals, cords, scissors, hats, bell and shoes, each representing members of the government.
This print is part of a recent donation generously given by Dr. William Helfand, president of the Grolier Club and a consultant to the National Library of Medicine, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and other institutions in areas relating to art and medicine. Dr. Helfand has written five books including Quack, Quack, Quack: the Sellers of Nostrums in Prints, Posters, Ephemera & Books… (GA Oversize 2005-0625Q), and The Picture of Health (Marquand Library N8223 .H44 1991) He has also published a number of articles on prints, caricatures, posters and ephemera relating to pharmacy and medicine. This posting shows only a few of the wonderful eighteenth- and nineteenth-century prints coming to Princeton thanks to Dr. Helfand.