Charles Philipon


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(b Lyons, Sept. 1802; d Paris, 25 Jan. 1862). French caricaturist, journalist, and publisher. He was a major figure in the history of political caricature, establishing several humorous publications in Paris that helped make topical cartoons a regular feature of journalism, notably La Caricature (founded 1830) and Le Charivari (founded 1832). La Caricature, a weekly political journal, was forced to close in 1834 after a barrage of legal actions (Philipon was imprisoned several times for his outspokenness); Le Charivari was more social than political in its satire and inspired the English comic journal Punch, or the London Charivari, which began publication in 1841. Philipon ran La Caricature until 1838 and it continued to appear into the 20th century. Some of the best caricaturists of the time worked for his journals, including Daumier, Gavarni, and Grandville. As an artist, Philipon himself was less distinguished, but in 1831 he created a famous and much-imitated comic image when he caricatured the unpopular, heavy-jowled King Louis-Philippe as a pear (poire has the slang meaning of blockhead or simpleton).

From The Oxford Dictionary of Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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