The Hector Berlioz Website

Berlioz Cartoon Collections 1 : 1830s

Unless otherwise stated all pictures on this page have been scanned from engravings and other publications in our own collection. All rights of reproduction reserved.

“Montfort and Berlioz”


Chinese shadows attributed to Signol – Rome, 1831  

    Montfort and Berlioz were fellow Prix de Rome laureates (music) and were based at the Académie de France in Rome at the time; the above image was drawn by Signol, another fellow laureate (painting). 

“M. Berlioz (Ber-lit-haut)”


Artist: Dantan 
published in Charivari, 5 May 1836

    Note how Berlioz’s name has been spelled out with a pictogram (“lit”, with silent t, French for bed) and the location on the pedestal of Berlioz’s bust (“haut” with silent h and t, French for top [of the pedestal]):  Ber - lit - haut. At the time many of Berlioz’s contemporaries did not pronounce the z at the end of his surname.

“Benvenuto Cellini”


Artist: Benjamin 
published in Caricature provisoire, 1 November 1838, 5 May 1836

    Note the distortion of the title of Berlioz’s first opera, from Benvenuto Cellini to Malvenuto Cellini. The Italian word benvenuto means welcome; malvenuto denotes the opposite. The full caption reads: “Grrrand opéra. Grrande représentation extraordinaire de Malvenuto Cellini, avec pasquinades littéraires et arlequinades musicales. A la fin de la parade une grrande statue sera coulée... l’auteur aussi.” A copy of the cartoon is in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and another is in the Musée Hector Berlioz at La Côte Saint-André.

© (unless otherwise stated) Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin.