Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fables de Florian

1930s book illustrations by Benjamin Rabier

title page / frontispiece to Rabier's children's fable book : happy animals image + title text

monochromatic table of contents to kid's book with anthropomorphic cartoon animals around the border

bordered cartouche of cartoon smiling animals around donkey

monkeys + peacock illustrated as background to a children's book poem about them

various comic-like animal caricatures interspersed with a poem

illustrated lion, tiger + bear vignettes adjacent to verse

monotone kid's book poem with comicesque prints of crocodiles and fish around the margins

caricature scenes of farm animals with human expression next to verse

poem and illustrated scenes of kangaroo rat and mother with child

monochrome illustration vignettes of cats surrounding kid's book poem

cartoon scenes of fox and henhouse + verse

monochromatic endpapers embellished with all different types of animals with anthropomorphic human-like facial expressions

butterfly + insect related cartoon vignettes alongside a children's book page of verse

B&W cartoon print in kid's book of various scenes with child and dog next to a poem

ducks, fish + fishing in cartoon scenes next to poetic verse

illustrated children's book cover with happy animals and a child around a brook

The (translated) list of anthropomorphic fables in this Benjamin Rabier-illustrated version of Florian's original 18th century children's tales:
The cat and the mirror - Beef horse and donkey - Carp and carpillons - The cowboy and the gamekeeper - The Cat and the bezel - The blind and the lame - Mother the child and opossums - The Mole and rabbits - the sheep and the dog - The Cricket - The monkey magic lantern shows - The brouvreuil and raven - The young and the old hen fox - The child and the mirror - Two cats - horse and foal - The hedgehog and rabbit - The Phoenix - The cat and the sparrow - The linnet - The fox preaches - monkeys and leopard - Wild boar and nightingales - The rhinoceros and camel - The squirrel, the dog and the fox - Hare, her friends and two deer - Peacock, both goslings and diving - the monkey, the monkey and nuts - fox disguised - The owl, cat, rat and goose - The parrot confident - The snake and leech - The Parrot - The cats and rats - both farmers and the cloud - Leopard and squirrel - The lion and leopard - The dog - The donkey and the flute - The rabbit and Teal - The crocodile and sturgeon - The wasp bee - The warbler and nightingale.

Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755-1794) was a French poet, romance and comedy writer, fabulist and pastoral novelist. He was elected to the Académie Française in 1788. Florian is best remembered for his children's fable verses, drawing from both traditional sources such Aesop as well as his own imagination.

Florian was arrested and imprisoned during the French Revolution and managed to avoid the guillotine during Robespierre's Reign of Terror. However, he died a year later at 39 years of age from an illness while still in jail.

Florian's most famous line might well be:
"Rira bien qui rira le dernier" or "He who laughs last, laughs best!"


MrCachet said...

Wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful, and perfect for people who want to learn French - like me! Thank you!

DPeaGreenDesigns said...

Whimsical and wonderful!

~ Starseed ~ said...

Too bad I don't read french, it's really cute.

Andrew said...

Hey, Peacay, have you run out of books? It's been awhile. I hope you're all right...

peacay said...

I'm ok & have been around on Twitter at least. I try to do this blog thing when I'm feeling motivated rather than out of a sense of obligation. I'm sure the inspiration will hit again soon enough. I've actually got one in the bag so to speak and about 406 trillion ideas and links in the background.

"It won't happen over night, but it will happen."

Andrew said...

OK, glad to hear it. Not impatient, just concerned. Much gratitude for all your generosity!

Icah Banjarmasin said...

I am remember it's my favorite book,thank you very much my friend.

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