Physiologie du musicien – Wick Collection of French Romantic Literature

The Physiologies of a variety of subjects—including the physiology of physiologies—were all the vogue in France between 1840 and 1850. A new one in the Rare Book Collection is the Physiologie du musicien, acquired as part of Peter Wick’s incredibly rich collection. Written by Albert Cler and illustrated with wood-engraved vignettes by Daumier, Gavarni, Janet-Lange, and Valentin, this tongue-in-cheek analysis of the musician is broken down into chapters dealing with topics such as …

Comparing musicians of before and today, the latter among whom is featured the famous pianist and composer Franz Liszt:

Franz Liszt

As well as a hilarious jab at musical amateurs, connoisseurs, and dilettantes,

among whom we might find those who, at the Opera, insist very seriously that they simply cannot hear and understand the music without a lorgnette: