Rare Books Blog

December 20, 2012

Best wishes

for a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON

and a Prosperous 2013!

 MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian

Tree of consanguinity from a 15th-century Austrian manuscript of
Giovanni d’Andrea’s Super arboribus consanguinitatis et affinitatis.

December 3, 2012

Joseph Hémard was the leader in adding humorous illustrations to French law codes. However, he was not the only one, or even the first. The tradition began with the French Revolution and continues to the present. The Lillian Goldman Law Library has a number of examples in its Rare Book Collection. In some of them, the legal text has been converted into verse. Many others follow Hémard’s lead in juxtaposing hilarious visual commentary with the dry-as-dust legal text.

This exhibit is on display in conjunction with the Rare Book Collection’s main exhibit for Fall 2012, “’And then I drew for books’: The Comic Art of Joseph Hémard.”

Code de la route: texte officiel et complet / illustrations en couleurs de Dubout (Paris: Maurice Gonon, 1956). Acquired with the Gary and Brian Bookman Literature and Arts Fund.

“Laughing at Law Codes: A French Tradition,” curated by Mike Widener, is on display through Dec. 20, 2012, in Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

December 3, 2012

La Constitution  en vaudeville / oeuvre posthume d’un homme qui n’est pas mort, publiée par lui-même, et dédiée a Madame Buonaparte (Paris: Impr. de la Constitution, 1799). This protest against Napoleon’s new constitution shows his consort, the Empress Josephine, carrying the new constitution as she tramples the older ones.

Le Code civil / commenté par Cham; ouvrage destiné aux personnes qui dérsirent avoir des démêlés avec la justice (Paris: Martinet, 185-?). These are the earliest illustrations for the Code Civil. “Cham” was the pseudonym of Charles Amédée de Noé (1818-1879), a noted French caricaturist. there is a French blog devoted to Cham, as well as a Wikipedia article with some basic biographical facts.

 

Detail: “Objection to a marriage.”

“Laughing at Law Codes: A French Tradition,” curated by Mike Widener, is on display through Dec. 20, 2012, in Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

December 3, 2012

Code Napoléon mis en vers Francais / par B.-M. Decomberousse; orné de plus de 60 bois originaux de Pierre Noël; preface de Maurice Garçon (Paris: Editions d’Art de l’Intermediaire du Bibliophile, 1932-1933). Acquired with the Gary and Brian Bookman Literature and Arts Fund. The versified text of the French Code Civil (or Code Napoleon) was first published in 1811. The illustrations in this edition are by Louis Vergniaud Pierre- Noël, a Haitian artist and postage stamp designer who was married to Lois Mailou Jones, an important artist in the Harlem Renaissance.

“Laughing at Law Codes: A French Tradition,” curated by Mike Widener, is on display through Dec. 20, 2012, in Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

December 3, 2012

 Albert Dubout (1905-1976) was a successful French illustrator whose work appeared in dozens of books, magazines, advertisements, record sleeves, and movie posters. He was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1953. Among the French law books he illustrated with humorous cartoons were the Traffic Code, Tourism Code, and Tax Code. For more information, visit the official Albert Dubout website and the Wikipedia article on Dubout, or consult Albert Dubout: le fou dessinant (Paris, 2006), the catalogue of a 2006 exhibit on Dubout at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Code de la route: texte officiel et complet / illustrations en couleurs de Dubout (Paris: Maurice Gonon, 1956). Acquired with the Gary and Brian Bookman Literature and Arts Fund.

Code du voyage et du tourisme: textes législatifs officiels / illustrations de Dubout (Paris: M. Gonon, 1960). Acquired with the Gary and Brian Bookman Literature and Arts Fund.

Code général des impôts: texte officiel / illustrations en coleurs de Dubout (Paris: M. Déchaux, 1958?). Acquired with the Gary and Brian Bookman Literature and Arts Fund.

“Laughing at Law Codes: A French Tradition,” curated by Mike Widener, is on display through Dec. 20, 2012, in Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

December 3, 2012

Circulez! texte officiel du Code de la route / illustré de 50 dessins humoristiques de Pecqueriaux; avec une pré-farce de Cami (Paris: Éditions Denoël et Steele, 1930).

This edition of the French traffic code is graced with illustrations of disaster on French highways. The Law Library’s copy is inscribed by the illustrator and editor to the French prime minister, André Tardieu.

“Laughing at Law Codes: A French Tradition,” curated by Mike Widener, is on display through Dec. 20, 2012, in Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

December 3, 2012

Le code pénal / illustrations de Jean Dratz (Bruxelles: Isy Brachot Fils, 1950). Acquired with the Gary and Brian Bookman Literature and Arts Fund.

This 1950 edition of the Belgian Penal Code is illustrated by Jean Dratz (1903-1967), who studied law in the university before turning to a career as an artist. He contributed to humor magazines and comics, but was also known for somber paintings of Belgian landscapes.

“Laughing at Law Codes: A French Tradition,” curated by Mike Widener, is on display through Dec. 20, 2012, in Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

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