Tarrare Sketches

I have mentioned I am obsessed with the story of Tarrare, yes? The 18th Century Frenchman/street performer/would-be spy for the French Revolutionary Army?

With military rations unable to satisfy his large appetite, he would eat any available food from gutters and refuse heaps but his condition still deteriorated through hunger. Suffering from exhaustion, he was hospitalised and became the subject of a series of medical experiments to test his eating capacity, in which, among other things, he ate a meal intended for 15 people in a single sitting, ate live cats, snakes, lizards and puppies, and swallowed an eel whole without chewing…

Despite his unusual diet, Tarrare was slim and of average height… He was described as having unusually soft fair hair, and an abnormally wide mouth in which his teeth were heavily stained, and on which the lips were almost invisible… The skin of his cheeks was wrinkled and hung loosely, and when stretched out he could hold twelve eggs or apples in his mouth. His body was hot to the touch and he sweated heavily and constantly suffered from foul body odour… Despite his large intake of food, he did not appear either to vomit excessively or to gain weight. Aside from his eating habits, his contemporaries saw no apparent signs of mental illness or unusual behaviour in him, other than an apparently apathetic temperament, with “a complete lack of force and ideas.”

via Wikipedia

So these sketches happened.

Tarrare seated, eating a cat

Tarrare face

Tarrare crestfallen

tarrare eating feeding cat

Cat lovers, I am real sorry.

Now I am puttering around singing “Tarrare” to the tune of “Volare.”

Be advised.


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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