Caricatures of Violence


La Caricature is a weekly satirical newspaper which was published in France from 1830 to 1835 by Charles Philipon. Philipon and his colleagues were highly critical of King Louis-Philippe, who ruled France from 1830 to 1848. His reign is referred to as the July Monarchy, as he came to power after the July Revolution of 1830, also known as the Trois Glorieuses. Philipon’s unrelenting criticism and mockery of Louis-Philippe led to La Caricature’s suppression by censorship laws in 1835. Throughout the five years of the journal’s publication, Philipon and his fellow caricaturists imagined a wide range of scenes through which to depict the king’s moral and political failings, including a masked ball, a game of chess, and a natural history museum featuring half-human, half-animal creatures.

One striking theme in the journal is the representation of gendered violence. This project aims to explore and critically analyze these images of violence. The guiding research questions of my analysis include: How are women represented in La Caricature? How is gendered violence represented and what are the motivations of these representations? How were these images understood by 19th-century viewers and how can they be reexamined from a contemporary feminist perspective? To answer these questions, I explored both qualitative and quantitative data using a variety of analytical methods.

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