Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel

The Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel (Les songes drolatiques de Panatgruel) is a bizarre, Brueghel-esque volume of humorous and grotesque woodcuts published in Paris in 1565. Based on the satirical Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel by François Rabelais, the book appears to have been a clever rip-off by the bookseller and publisher Richard Breton, who wrote in the book’s preface,“The great familiarity I had with the late François Rabelais has moved and even compelled me to bring to light the last of his work, the drolatic dreams of the very excellent and wonderful Patagruel”.

Despite those claims, the book’s amazing images are not likely to be the work of Rabelais himself, but a slick 16th century marketing gimmick by the publisher. It’s more likely that the artist who made the 120 woodcuts is François Desprez, a prolific French engraver and illustrator.These versions of the book’s images are from an 1869 reproduction printed by Louis Perrin of Lyon.

This entry was posted in Art, Books, Europe and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel

  1. roos says:

    It reminds me of the work from Jeroen Bosch

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