HARTUNG-BERGMAN FOUNDATION SEMINAR
CLICK HERE FOR THE LETTER
Honoré Daumier, Le choléra-morbus à Paris en 1832 (Cholera-mobus in Paris in 1832). Illustration for François Fabre, Némésis médicale illustrée, vol. 1 (Brussels, 1841), p. 69. Bibliothèque de l’Académie de médecine, call number: 47 337 © Bibliothèque de l’Académie nationale de médecine
The Cholera Epidemic of 1832: The Passion for Equality and the Social Question
Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Staff: Carole Gautier and Cécile Pichon-Bonin
Translator: David Ames Curtis
Fabienne Chevallier studies the connections between architecture, urban planning, hygienics, and politics. Here, she looks at the cholera epidemic of 1932 in Paris, where the inequality before life was confirmed to be a determining factor for inequality before death. The official decrees recommending expensive and inaccessible forms of nourishment—grilled meats and fish—were no more realistic for the destitute than the suggestion to ventilate living spaces.
In this process of consciousness-raising and aspiring for more equality, artists played a role by appropriating the event as a figurative motif. In this spirit, Daumier did caricature after caricature. The author offers us the image of a woman wearing a bonnet who flees with a child in her arms and arrives before a doorway painted with a white cross as the allegory of a Social Republic abused by the July Monarchy.