Charles Philipon (1800-1862)


The artist-journalist Charles Philipon played a key role in the political battle between Republicans and Legitimists / Bonapartists. Before the July Revolution of 1830, he participated in the liberal opposition against the press censorship of the reign of Charles X, with his magazine La Silhouette (1829-1830).

During the Revolution of 1830 the last Bourbon king Charles X was overthrown and Louis-Philippe of the House of Orleans came on the throne. The new citizen-king was open-minded and tried to steer a middle course between the need for order and (frustrated) revolutionary ideals. The press censorship was abolished.

Together with his brother-in-law Aubert Philipon founded a store for lithographic prints and a firm for publishing the satirical weekly La Caricature (1830) and the daily newspaper Le Charivari (1832). One such newspaper consisted of three sheets with text ads and one lithograph. Philipon succeeded over the years to attract all known and upcoming artists such as

Maison Aubert

Grandville, Gavarni, Monnier, Raffet, and Daumier to publish litho’s in his weekly and daily. Also Philipon himself as most exciting but least talented artist contributed occasionally a print.  

The Pear

His most famous picture was a sketch in which the head of the citizen-king Louis-Philippe gradually turns into a pear. After publication of an elaborate version of the sketch in La Caricature Philipon was charged with lese-majesty.

The Montly Association (l’Association Mensuelle)

In 1832 Philipon set up company of shares to form a fund to pay the fines to which publishers and cartoonists were condemned. The judicial intervention had already led to twenty arrests, six convictions and fines up to 6,000 francs. Participants received each month as a premium a lithography printed on first-rate paper .

The first of the series of 24 plates was designed by Grandville and the rest by Daumier in collaboration with Philipon (especially for the texts and captions).


” Le Ventre Legislative” was one of those plates and the result of a common project of Philipon and Daumier to make lithographies of the representatives c.q. celebrities. And at the same time to pay the fines and the costs of the procedures.

The End of Political Caricature


Louis-Philippe now aged 68 had survived eight attempts on his

live. After the last failed attempt he saw no other solution than to forbid political satire and caricature and to introduce preventive censorship on the of caricature of morals.  Daumier gave voice to the indignation of the victims who gave their lives for the liberty in 1830 and the liberty of the press. 


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