(b. ca. 1804, Paris, d. 1866, Paris)


French caricaturist and illustrator, real name Guillaume Sulpice Chevalier. He was born in Paris and largely self-taught as an artist. He began his career as an engraver and after 1830 was a fashion illustrator. Subsequently he became a caricaturist, specializing in satiric studies of Parisian life, which he contributed to a number of Parisian periodicals, including the magazine Charivari. Among his better-known works are the series Les fourberies de femme en matière de sentiment (Treachery of Women in Matters of Sentiment) and Les lorettes (The Prostitutes).

Gavarni lived in London from 1847 to 1851; deeply moved by the economic misery of the poorer classes there, he thenceforth used his satiric approach to life to stress social problems.

The end of Gavarni's career was not as publicly brilliant as the beginning. After his return from another trip to London, where he spent time observing the urban poor, he lived in semi-retirement, producing his last series in 1857-58. Much of his work from this time period is more somber, dark, nostalgic and moralistic.Gavarni was also a watercolorist and a noted illustrator of books. In all, Gavarni executed about 8000 drawings, lithographs, and watercolours.