The Saint-Aubin 'Livre De Caricatures'

BookThe Saint-Aubin 'Livre De Caricatures'

The Saint-Aubin 'Livre De Caricatures'

Drawing satire in eighteenth-century Paris

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2012:06


June 18th, 2012

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Out of public sight for over a hundred years, the Livre de caricatures tant bonnes que mauvaises is a remarkable work. This collection of comic and satirical drawings was created by a Parisian luxury embroiderer, Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin, at a time of rigid press censorship to entertain a small group of family and friends. For today’s reader the Livreprovides not only a series of richly imaginative and varied drawings, but also a fascinating and intriguing commentary on pre-Revolutionary Paris.
In this first comprehensive study of the Livre de caricatures, which includes over 190 illustrations, an international team of scholars investigates the motivations and operations behind the making of the book, and the many facets of Parisian life that it illuminates. Embracing politics and religion, theatre, fashion and connoisseurship, and the court of Versailles and the Parisian streets, the scope of the Livre is immense. The work’s unique quality is evident in its humour – whimsical, fantastical, challengingly allusive, but not without a sharp political edge when targeting clerics, the court and Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour.
Known within the Saint-Aubin family as the Livre de culs, the Livre delights in the transgression of social convention and the keen deflation of vanity and pretence. Contributors explore this irreverent image of eighteenth-century Paris in all its glory. In today’s world, the visual satire of the Livre de Caricatures continues to resonate, instruct and entertain.

[…] this volume offers a rich analysis of a unique object, sneaking a glimpse into the private life and sense of humour of a family of artists in eighteenth-century Paris, and through them a deeper understanding of the political and cultural happenings that affected the lives of ordinary Parisians.
- French Studies

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half Title2
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
Introduction, COLIN JONES and JULIET CAREY10
I. The Livre de caricatures and the Saint-Aubins38
1. Archaeology and materiality, COLIN JONES and EMILY RICHARDSON40
2. Decoding the Livre de caricatures, JOHN ROGISTER64
3. The Saint-Aubins sketching for fun and profit, KIM DE BEAUMONT76
II. Historical perspectives102
4. War, diplomacy and faction, JOHN SHOVLIN104
5. Politics and religion, JULIAN SWANN126
6. Gloire, subversively, VALERIE MAINZ160
7. Madame de Pompadour, HUMPHREY WINE188
III. Sites of culture200
8. Theatrical life, MARK LEDBURY202
9. Musical culture, JAMES H. JOHNSON224
10. Fashioning the feminine, AILEEN RIBEIRO242
11. Costume books and fashion plates, KIMBERLY CHRISMAN-CAMPBELL258
12. The king and his embroiderer, JULIET CAREY270
13. Connoisseurship: art and antiquities, CHARLOTTE GUICHARD292
14. Vases and satire, PERRIN STEIN310
IV. Contexts334
15. The precariousness of things, RICHARD TAWS336
16. Saint-Aubin’s jokes and their relation to ..., KATIE SCOTT358
Appendix: form and content analysis414
List of illustrations424
List of contributors452