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Jean Claval: "L'Aventure Carto," 1992

1992  Jean Claval "L'Aventure Carto: Les Fables de La Fontaine."  One title-card and 37 of 40 portrait postcards offering humorous interpretations of La Fontaine's fables.  #AC 92001 through AC 920041.  $120 from Bertrand Cocq, Calonne Ricouart, France, Sept., '18.

This is one of the liveliest sets of illustrations of La Fontaine's fables that I have encountered.  Card after card has surprises!  The ass who has crossed the river with salt holds onto a bush with a fingered hand in #2.  In #9, the angler is wondering about the small fish he has caught just as a huge Jaws-like shark is ready to break the surface just below him!  In "Acorn and Pumpkin" (#15), La Fontaine is walking away from and looking back at the bumpkin about to get hit on the nose by a dropping acorn.  In OR (#25), for some reason, Marilyn Monroe is letting the breeze attacking the oak and reed blow up her skirt!  In FC (#30), the cheese box is a particular brand, "Caprice des Dieux."  On the wall of the bedroom of the dying laborer telling his sons that there is a treasure in the family field, there is a calendar from "The Friends of Mona Lisa" for the year 1695.  For me, the first of the two most enjoyable scenes is "Fox and Goat" (#16), with a wild array of objects covered underground from previous eras.  The other is "Cobbler and Banker" (#32): so much is going on in the village, including perhaps the artist hawking his cards!  TB (#23) may be a specific contemporary political satire; the faces of the two human figures are so specifically portrayed.  In GGE (#27), is someone about to kill the rich old hen?  Enjoy these cards, especially in their enlarged form, occasioned by clicking on a specific card. 

Title Card

1. FS

2. SS

3. OF


5. WC

6. Dog & Family

7. Cat, Weasel, & Rabbit

8. Heron

9. Small Fish & Angler


11. MM

12. Stag at Pool

13. Rabbit's Ears

14. Coach & Mosquito

15. Acorn & Pumpkin

16. Fox & Goat

17. LM

18. UP

19.  Women & Secret


21. Oyster & Litigants

22. FG

23. TB

24. Stag & Vine

25. OR

26. Two Roosters

27. GGE


29. 2P

30. FC

31. Monkey & Cat

32. Cobbler & Banker

33. Death & Woodman

34. DW

35. BC

36. Wolf, Goat, & Kid

37. Villager & Snake

38. Laborer & Sons

39. DW

40. GA