Cham (= Amédée Charles Henry de Noé, 1819 Paris 1879). Aveugle! c’est triste, mais c’est encore de la chance dans ce moment-ci! Blind beggar with the hat in his hand sitting on the roadside while a passer-by with his fist clenched looks back at the mounted Prussian soldier and, further back, the Prussian eagle waiving in the wind. Chalk lithograph. (1870-71.) Inscribed: 22 / CHAM, otherwise typographically as above. 9⅜ × 7½ in (23.8 × 19.2 cm).
Worked for the Charivari during the war of 1870-71 and here present in a contemporary impression without text on the back. – The reverse tiny foxing spots only little perceptible in the subject.
Cham , born into an aristocratic family – the father was a Pair of France – , revealed his talent for drawing already as a child. Since 1838 pupil first in the study of Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet, then of Paul Delaroche, already in 1839 the Charivari edited by Charles Philipon publishes first humorous comics under the pseudonym Cham derived from biblical history (son of Noé/Noah) and becomes
“ beside Honoré Daumier and Paul Gavarni one of the most important contributors of this paper for which he works till his dying day. Beside the execution of lithographs after the model of Daumier he parodies with great success generally popular novels … With the equally successful series Salons caricaturaux he had a guiding effect on caricature … One series with political caricatures against the socialists, especially Pierre Joseph Proudhon, published in it during the Second Republic establishes C.s reputation … In the Second Empire he continues the Revues comiques in Le Charivari and according to Grand-Carteret proves himself by this as skilled commentator of contemporary events … In the war 1870/71 he caricatures inexorably the German army; additionally further deals with, also during the following Third Republic, the ironic inspection of the other contemporary scene … (His vignettes represent)
an extraordinarily valuable pictorial documentation of history ”
(Luce Abélès, Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon XVIII, 1998, p. 109).
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