Thursday, December 24, 2009

Philipon and Anon., “Project du monument expia-poire a elever sur la place de la Revolution, precisement a la place ou fut guillotine Louis XVI,” ...

Although the image of a pear may not appear subversive to a contemporary audience, it was widely recognized among the French as a jab at Louis-Philippe and his government. Immediately upon its publication the French government prosecuted Philipon for inciting regicide. By drawing a pear where Louis XVI was once beheaded, the government argued that Philipon encouraged the overthrow of Louis-Phillipe. Philipon countered that he could, at most, be acccused of making jam. It is interesting to note that the word poire, which is French for pear, became French slang for “fat head” a term that is said to have originated with Philipon. The pear became Philipon’s most enduring and celebrated creation.

As an added point of interest the Free Library building was modeled on the Place de La Revolution.

Gift of Lessing J. Rosenwald 58-874

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