• Steven Heller

Raspberries (and more) To Those In Power

Fleurs, Fruits & Légumes du Jour is a folio of caricature prints by Alfred Le Petit (1841-1909) from 1871. He was one of the great line artists and satirists of his era, and a contributor to L’Eclipse, a leading republican newspaper during the French Third Republic. He also made caricatures for the anticlerical Grelot and antiestablishment Charivari . He founded The Firecracker and Le Sans-Culotte and used the nom de plume “Corporal Alfred the Great.“

The cartoons brilliantly portray as various flora mutatants many of the leading lights of France’s political and cultural scenes (as well as The Pope) at a time when censorship had been lifted and satiric art reigned. Petit is actually paying homage to Charles Phillipon, founder of Charivari, whose most famous cartoon depicts the portly King Louis Philippe progressively evolving into a pear. In these images, “Le Poir” is directly referenced in a few cartoons and serves as the inspiration for “Le Raisin,” where Henri Rochefort turns from face to grapes on the vine.

There are more hilariously acute physical transformations and below are many from the original portfolio.

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