A painting by Fabrizio Riccardi from his series ‘Paintings of Pantagruel.’
In 1565 Francois Desprez, a publisher, illustrator, and bookseller based in Paris created a series of woodblock carvings The Humorous Dreams of Pantagruel. Historians have noted Desprez‘s strange carvings were commissioned by his associate and fellow printer Richard Breton. Now, it is very likely you have seen Salvador Dali‘s interpretative series Les songes drôlatiques de Pantagruel which the artist produced during the first part of the 1970s. Dali based his series of paintings on François Rabelais’ novel (translated to English), The Horrible and Terrifying Deeds and Words of the Very Renowned Pantagruel King of the Dipsodes, Son of the Great Giant Gargantua. While the great Dali’s take on Pantagruel was wild, it almost pales in comparison to Italian artist Fabrizio Riccardi‘s series Paintings of Pantagruel which Riccardi took on starting in 2008.
Riccardi’s paintings will no doubt bring you to immediately compare his style to visionary Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. Most of Riccardi’s images for Paintings of Pantagruel line up numerically with Desprez’s woodblocks from nearly 450 years prior. Riccardi was born in Rome and began his formal artistic training early after relocating to Turin with his family in 1952. There he attended Liceo Artistico dell’Accademia Albertina (or Albertina Academy of Fine Arts) and later the Faculty of Architecture in Rome, though he would leave the institution at the age of 24 in 1966 to marry and start a family. During this time period Riccardi would travel to Belgium, Switzerland, and the U.S. to showcase his work which was quickly embraced by fans and critics alike. I’ve posted an assortment of images from Riccardi’s Paintings of Pantagruel which is quite massive and can be seen in its entirety here. Most of what follows is NSFW.
HT: Monster Brains
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Incredible photographic recreations of Hieronymus Bosch paintings
Own your own Hieronymus Bosch figurine!
‘The Midnight Parasites’: Yōji Kuri’s surreal Hieronymus Bosch inspired animation from 1972
Dames, Dracula, & the devil: The erotic fumetti of Italian artist Alessandro Biffignandi
Fantastical Hieronymus Bosch piñatas by Roberto Benavidez