The first illustrated newspapers of the beginning of the 19th century gave a lot of space to the engravings and to the commentaries which accompany them. In newsrooms, illustrators and editors rub shoulders. This is how Jean-Ignace Gérard dit Grandville and Honoré de Balzac meet. Grandville is then known for his animal caricatures and the first drawings he provides to newspapers remain in this vein. These fantasies are followed by political caricatures first against Charles X and then against the government of Louis Philippe. The political differences of Grandville, rather republican, and Balzac, rather monarchist, will involve their progressive distancing, from 1831.
He was the first star of French caricature’s great age. From Gustave Doré to the Walt Disney studios, his zoomorphic cartoons have countless inheritors. From the 1930s through the 1950s, Surrealists worshipped him. But these days few remember J.J. Grandville (1803-1847).