- Digital reproduction
- Printed by the Photograph Studio of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- 16'' x 20''
- Gift wrap not available
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Charles-Albert Arnoux Bertall (French, 1820–1882), Saltimbanques, from Le Diable à Paris, vol II (Paris, 1846), p. 161.
Charles Albert, vicomte d'Arnoux, who called himself Bertall, was a caricaturist, writer, and illustrator for popular novels and newspapers. Our print has been reproduced from his wood engraving Saltimbanques in The Met collection. It initially appeared in the multi-authored and lavishly illustrated Le Diable à Paris (The Devil in Paris), a lampoon of the city's morals published in 1846, and it was widely recycled, even in a New York publication. The imagery of the parade, or sideshow, was widely shared in the period's illustrations and cartoons, and was associated with political chicanery throughout the reign of King Louis- Phillipe (1830–48), the short-lived Second Republic, and the Second Empire (1852–70). While Bertall's image presents simple grotesques, the accompanying text on saltimbanques, or entertainers, accentuates the parallels between sideshows and politics.
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