French artist J.J. Grandville was a caricaturist and illustrator. Among his many talents, was anthropomorphic illustration. By combining human and animal characteristics into remarkable, fantastic creatures, Grandville satirized his political and social mileu. These surreal wood engravings from 1842, were a huge influence on Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, on Franz Kafka’s writing, and on Walt Disney.
I was able to view a nice edition of Vie Privee et Publique Des Animaux, thanks to the French Library at U.C. Berkeley. A witty and telling commentary on politics and personalities (I’m told), this book is crammed with stunning illustrations.