François Desprez: The Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel (1565)

(Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)

Eight woodcuts made by the French artist François Desprez (1530-1587). These woodcuts come from the book "Les Songes Drolatiques de Pantagruel" (= The drolatic dreams of Pantagruel), published by Richard Breton (1525–1571) which is made up entirely of images of 120 woodcuts. According to the intro of Breton the book was made by the French writer François Rabelais (1494-1553) who is best known for his book "The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel"the adventures of two giants, Gargantua and his son Pantagruel. In reality the woodcuts were made by François Desprez but Richard Breton probably wanted to take advantage of the popularity of Rabelais. The woodcuts show various fantastically bizarre and grotesque figures such as these eight. Woodcuts from around 1565.