J. J. Grandville “Jasmin. (Jessamine). ” From Les Fleurs Animées. Paris: Garnier Freres, 1867. Ca. 7 x 5. Steel engraving by Ch. Geoffroy. Original hand-coloring. Very good condition.
A lovely image from a series of delightful prints illustrating flowers personified in the form of maidens and their animal retinues. Each early 19th-century female figure is richly costumed in the leaves, blossoms and garlands that designate her flower. She presides in an appropriate ‘natural’ setting, often surrounded by anthropomorphized insects and birds that pay her homage. These poetic interpretations of nature are a fetching example of early 19th-century literary and artistic invention. Their charm, as well as their mischievousness, bespeak the Victorian fascination with an animated and psychologically fertile natural world, the world made familiar by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.