Unemployment in Paris and Lyon in 1831

Unemployment in Paris and Lyon in 1831

  • A freed people whose happiness begins ...

    TRAVIES DE VILLERS Charles Joseph (1804 - 1859)

  • The most perfect order also reigns in Lyon.

    TRAVIES DE VILLERS Charles Joseph (1804 - 1859)

To close

Title: A freed people whose happiness begins ...

Author : TRAVIES DE VILLERS Charles Joseph (1804 - 1859)

Creation date : 1831

Date shown: 1831

Dimensions: Height 22.8 - Width 30

Technique and other indications: Lithograph by Delaporte. Lithograph published in La Caricature, n ° 52, October 27, 1831, pl. 105. Right: "We subscribe to Aubert, Véro Dodat gallery".

Storage location: Carnavalet museum (Paris) website

Contact copyright: © Photo library of the Museums of the City of Paris - Photo Habouzit

Picture reference: 1987 CAR 5718NB / G 19008

A freed people whose happiness begins ...

© Photo library of the Museums of the City of Paris - Photo Habouzit

To close

Title: The most perfect order also reigns in Lyon.

Author : TRAVIES DE VILLERS Charles Joseph (1804 - 1859)

Creation date : 1831

Date shown: 1831

Dimensions: Height 22.8 - Width 30

Technique and other indications: Lithograph published in La Caricature, n ° 62, January 5, 1832, pl. 126. Right: "We subscribe to Aubert, Véro Dodat gallery".

Storage location: Historic Center of the National Archives website

Contact copyright: © Historic Center of the National Archives - Photo workshop website

Picture reference: AE / II

The most perfect order also reigns in Lyon.

© Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

Publication date: January 2005

Historical context

Pauperism

The arrival of Louis-Philippe to power in July 1830 aroused the resentment of Republicans, very quickly coupled with the social question. Strikes and workers' demonstrations took place in Paris, from August 15 to October 1830, then in June 1831 in the Saint-Denis district and in Lyon, in November 1831; they reveal, along with the instability of the regime, the acuteness of the economic issues facing the unemployed.

Pauperism is beginning to take hold of the attention of contemporaries. Paris and Lyon are at this date the only cities in France to gather a large working population, poverty is all the more visible there.

The constant unemployment of some workers allows employers to squeeze wages by having a still abundant workforce. Children are forced to work from an early age and the oldest do not have pensions.

Image Analysis

"Freed people"

Workers in rags await an uncertain hiring in a heavy silence: there are such gatherings of the unemployed in Paris, the day after 1830. Martin Nadaud describes the Place de Grève during the building crisis as the "last vestige of the old market to the slaves of Antiquity […] crowded with haggard and gaunt men, but accommodating themselves without too much sadness to their situation of starving to death ”.

In this world of misery, the craftsman in wide trousers, the mason in a blouse or the manual worker in industry, like the central figure in bridge trousers, wearing a beret, are found. Two elderly women, one hunched over on crutches, the other on a cane, walk past without being able to see their faces; a mother with a face devastated with anguish carries a child in her arms, by her side, another is in tears. Exhaustion, helplessness and despair can be read with dramatic intensity on these faces. The placards of “sale by forced expropriation” underline the harshness of the context.

This lithograph does not belong to the genre of The caricature who published it on October 27, 1831. The young Charles-Joseph Traviès de Villers (1804-1859) did not make fun of the people or make them ugly, unlike the character of Mayeux that he created at the same time. As a keen observer of popular behavior and professions in Paris, he brings together various characters, no doubt sketched separately from life, and on the contrary seems to perceive their misfortune with accuracy.

From the perspective of the newspaper, this drawing aims to contrast the harsh realities of unemployment and poverty in Paris with the idealized images of the toiling working class and heroism of the July Revolution that painting and literature propagated in the aftermath of 1830. Traviès, who exhibited at the Salon as a genre painter, certainly saw Liberty Leading the People, presented by Delacroix in May 1831. He is ironic by quoting a line from Auguste Barbier (1805-1882), taken from Legs (1830), because, a year after this glorious revolution, this “freed people” does not know freedom, but unemployment and hunger.

But this realistic representation of social misery abuses the conventions of the time. Moreover, the enumeration of heinous and revolting facts which accompanies it makes the government responsible for the misery of the people (caption of the cartoon [1]). The power does not support this criticism too true and makes seize The caricature.

Charles Philipon, its director, recounts this action [2], the twelfth against his newspaper, in the following issue and humorously prides himself on being seized for an image of the people. He was struck by the growth, within the narrow framework of the old Paris of that time, of "this people who overflow with all these unfurnished houses, which flow on the bridges, which one fishes under".

"Order also reigns in Lyon"

In his second scene of unemployment, of January 5, 1832, Traviès visibly resumes the same composition: characters aligned, the largest of which in the center, in profile on the right. But on the left emerges a very cartoonish group: a pot-bellied National Guard, taking his tobacco socket, a large umbrella under his arm. This "riflard", which Louis-Philippe is often decked out in, designates power. Accompanied by a mastiff with a protective collar against wolf bites, the guard watches over miserable canuts (silk workers), yet in no way threatening. These unemployed people are also on strike, and everyone can, like the government, shift all responsibility onto them. A young father seated on a stone admonishes his son who holds two cobblestones. No rags this time, no invalids, no women in this group.

The caricature mocks the intervention of the army in Lyon to reduce the strike of the canuts, in November 1831 in a tone of liberal provocation (legend of the cartoon [3]). The leitmotif "The most perfect order also reigns ...", which can be found in several caricatures, originates from an unfortunate declaration by Sebastiani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, after the crushing of the Polish revolt by the Russians: "L order reigns in Warsaw. "

This scene in Lyon where the charge against military action replaces social criticism will not be captured, and Philipon will manage to get acquitted for the first drawing.

Interpretation

The image of the people

Traviès, forced to abandon caricature by the laws of 1835, devoted himself to scenes of manners and types of trades, better reflecting his talent without however succeeding in painting. Baudelaire will underline this: “Traviès has a deep feeling of the joys and sorrows of the people; he knows the scoundrel inside out, and we can say that he loved her with tender charity. "

Philipon attacks the government for its ingratitude towards the victorious workers in July 1830 and its inability to provide them with work, but he is reluctant towards revolutionary movements that threaten to overthrow the established social order. The caricature let the canuts' revolt unfold and end, that first entirely working-class insurrection, in November 1831, before mentioning it.

Very original, these two realistic scenes, which reveal everyday misery, will not have a follow-up in the caricature journals. Charles Philipon actually shows little concern for the suffering of the working classes. If political caricature is a springboard for the launch of his press business and sale of lithographs, he seeks above all to meet the tastes of his customers. The caricature and The Charivari evoke the rights of the nation as a whole but, like his Republican friends, Philipon is more sensitive to the political rights of the patriotic bourgeoisie than to the economic difficulties of the masses.

  • canuts
  • caricature
  • National Guard
  • Lyon
  • July Monarchy
  • workers
  • Paris
  • Revolution of 1830
  • industrial Revolution
  • Louis Philippe
  • working class

Bibliography

Louis CHEVALIER, Working classes and dangerous classes, in Paris, during the first half of the 19th century, Paris, Hachette, 1958.David S. KERR, Caricature and French Political Culture, 1830-1848: Charles Philipon and the Illustrated Press, Oxford-New York, Oxford University Press-Clarendon Press, 2000. Martin NADAUD, Léonard, mason of the Creuse, Paris, Maspero, 1976.

Notes

1. Freed people whose happiness begins, Cross your arms, after your immense work! . .People! Rest! . .

2. Twelfth seizure practiced at M. Aubert ... Of these good people who rest on promises, who fold their arms when they see foreign guns entering France, thus seeing millions emerge which they could earn by their work . Of this happy people whose happiness is beginning to become too heavy. Of this freed people who are knocked out when they put the national colors on their hats. Of the joyful people who overflow with all these unfurnished houses, which flow on the bridges, which one fishes under. Of this wealthy people whose concierge of the Morgue, his heir, his last master, throws the rags into the river - this portrait that a minister should not look at without blushing, a philosopher without crying, a patriot without shuddering with rage, this portrait that all Paris has found hopeless of resemblance has been seized! We are no doubt surprised, but we are delighted. For quite a long time the public prosecutor was only concerned with defending the person of the Monarch, we like to see him today supporting the dignity of the people who make and defeat kings, of the people our master to all, princes or cartoonists. ; of the people who have as many rights as anyone else to be flattered, to be always represented combed, stripped and shining with ointment; of the people who are not precisely inviolable, but who pay widely enough to be defended, served and above all respected. A conviction for insulting or insulting the sovereign people will be a precedent that we will not be sorry to set at our expense, because it will open the way to a certain responsibility which then WILL NOW BE A TRUTH. Charles Philipon La Caricature, N ° 53, November 3, 1831, p.1.

3. Legend of the caricature The most perfect order also reigns in Lyon, published in La Caricature, n ° 62, January 5, 1832, column 495. The air is freezing, the roofs are white, bread is scarce, work is scarce. lack, in Lyon; ease flees, industry emigrates, misery populates the streets in Lyons; but force has remained to the law, the authority sits at the Hôtel-de-Ville, the rainbow has made its appearance, and the National Guard stands guard and takes its hold ... So and always: L The most perfect order also reigns in Lyon.

To cite this article

Luce-Marie ALBIGÈS, "Unemployment in Paris and Lyon in 1831"


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