Jules “Draner” Renard (1833-1926). “Autriche-1865-General.” [Austrian General]. From Types Militaires. Paris: Dusaco et Cie, 1862-1872. 11 ½ x 8 ¾ (image). Chromolithograph with original hand color. Very good condition.
European caricaturists often use a pseudonym to avoid censors from governments or personal retribution. Jules Renard was Belgian by birth and worked in Paris during a time of political and social turmoil. His satires, signed in the plate as “Draner” were not so gentle or subtle as those of Daumier and Grandville in France or by the Vanity Fair caricaturists in England. His figures are exceedingly grotesque for the time and certainly presage the growing tones of horror that would reach fruition in expressionism a few decades later.
The period in which these prints were made corresponded with the appointment of Bismarck as Minister-President of Prussia and the many dramatic events in the unification of Germany culminating in the Franco-Prussian War. From the viewpoint of a liberal Frenchman, the rise of the military power anywhere was something to fear.