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Honoré Daumier

Honoré-Victorin Daumier (French: [ɔnɔʁe domje]; February 26, 1808 – February


Honoré Daumier
10, 1879) was a French printmaker, caricaturist, painter, and sculptor, whose many
works offer commentary on social and political life in France in the 19th century.

Daumier produced more than 500 paintings, 4000 lithographs, 1000 wood
engravings, 1000 drawings and 100 sculptures. A prolific draughtsman, he was
perhaps best known for hiscaricatures of political figures and satires on the behavior
of his countrymen, although posthumously the value of his painting has also been
recognized.[1]

Contents
Life
Published works
Sculptures
Paintings
Honoré Daumier circa 1850
Legacy
Born Honoré Victorin
Gallery
Daumier
Notes
February 26, 1808
References
Marseille
External links
Died February 10, 1879
(aged 70)
Valmondois
Life
Nationality French
Daumier was born in Marseille to Jean-Baptiste Louis Daumier and Cécile Catherine
Known for Printmaking, painting,
Philippe. His father Jean-Baptiste was a glazier whose literary aspirations led him to
sculpture
move to Paris in 1814, seeking to be published as a poet.[2] In 1816, the young
Daumier and his mother followed Jean-Baptiste to Paris. Daumier showed in his youth an irresistible inclination towards the artistic
profession, which his father vainly tried to check by placing him first with a huissier, for whom he was employed as an errand boy,
and later, with a bookseller. In 1822, he became protégé to Alexandre Lenoir, a friend of Daumier's father who was an artist and
archaeologist. The following year Daumier entered the Académie Suisse. He also worked for a lithographer and publisher named
Belliard, and made his first attempts at lithography
.

Having mastered the techniques of lithography, Daumier began his artistic career by producing plates for music publishers, and
illustrations for advertisements. This was followed by anonymous work for publishers, in which he emulated the style of Charlet and
displayed considerable enthusiasm for the Napoleonic legend. After the revolution of 1830 he created art which expressed his
political beliefs.[3] Daumier was almost blind by 1873.

Published works
During the reign of Louis Philippe, Charles Philipon launched the comic journal, La Caricature. Daumier joined its staff, which
included such powerful artists as Devéria, Raffet and Grandville, and started upon his pictorial campaign of satire, targeting the
foibles of the bourgeoisie, the corruption of the law and the incompetence of a blundering government. His caricature of the king as
Gargantua led to Daumier's imprisonment for six months at Ste Pelagie in 1832.
Soon after, the publication of La Caricature was discontinued, but Philipon provided
a new field for Daumier's activity when he founded theLe Charivari.

Daumier produced his social caricatures for Le Charivari, in which he held


bourgeois society up to ridicule in the figure of Robert Macaire, hero of a popular
melodrama. In another series, L'histoire ancienne, he took aim at the constraining
pseudo-classicism of the art of the period. In 1848 Daumier embarked again on his
political campaign, still in the service of Le Charivari, which he left in 1863 and
rejoined in 1864. A lithograph of Daumier'sGargantua,
1831
Around the mid-1840s Daumier started publishing his famous caricatures depicting
members of the legal profession, known as 'Les Gens de Justice', a scathing satire
about judges, defendants, attorneys and corrupt, greedy lawyers in general. A number of extremely rare albums appeared on white
paper, covering 39 different legal themes, of which 37 had previously been published in the Charivari. It is said that Daumier's own
experience as an employee in a bailiff's office during his youth may have influenced his rather negative attitude towards the legal
profession.

In 1834 he produced the lithographRue Transnonain, 15 April 1834depicting the massacre in the rue transnoin which was part of the
April 1834 riots in Paris. It was designed for the subscription publication L’Association Mensuelle. The profits were to promote
freedom of the press and defrayed legal costs of a lawsuit against the satirical, politically progressive journal Le Charivari to which
Daumier contributed regularly. The police discovered the print hanging in the window of printseller Ernest Jean Aubert in the Galerie
Véro-Dodat (passageway in 1st arrondissement) and subsequently tracked down and confiscated as many of the prints they could
find, along with the original lithographic stone on which the image was drawn. Existing prints of Rue Transnonain are survivors of
this effort.[4]

Sculptures
Daumier was not only a prolific lithographer, draftsman and painter, but he also produced a notable number of sculptures in unbaked
clay. In order to save these rare specimens from destruction, some of these busts were reproduced first in plaster. Bronze sculptures
were posthumously produced from the plaster. The major 20th-century foundries were F. Barbedienne Barbedienne, Rudier, Siot-
Decauville and Foundry Valsuani.

Eventually Daumier produced between 36 busts of French members of Parliament in unbaked clay. The foundries involved from
1927 on to produce a bronze edition were Barbedienne in an edition of 25 & 30 casts and Valsuani with three special casts based on
the previous plaster castings from the gallery Sagot - Le Garrec clay collection. These bronze busts are all posthumous, based on the
original, but frequently restored unbaked clay sculptures. The clay in its restored version can be seen at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

From the early 1950s on, some baked clay 'Figurines' appeared, most of them belonging to the Gobin collection in Paris. It was Gobin
who decided to have a bronze cast done by Valsuani in an edition of 30 each. Again, they were posthumous and there is no proof, in
contrast to the busts mentioned above, that these terra cotta figurines really were done by Daumier himself. The American school
(J.Wasserman from the Fogg-Harvard Museum) doubts their authenticity, while the French school, especially Gobin, Lecomte, and
Le Garrec and Cherpin, all somehow involved in the marketing of the bronze editions, are sure of their Daumier origin. The Daumier
Register (the international center of Daumier research) as well as the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC would consider the
figurines as 'in the manner of Daumier' or even 'by an imitator of Daumier' (NGA)

There can be no doubt about the authenticity of Daumier's Ratapoil and his Emigrants. The self-portrait in bronze as well as the bust
of Louis XIV have been frequently debated over the last 100 years, but the general tenor is to accept them as originals by Daumier
.

Daumier created many figurines that he subsequently used as models for his paintings. One of Daumier's most well-known figurines,
titled The Heavy Burden, features a woman and her child. The woman is carrying something, possibly a large bag; the figurine is
about 14 inches tall. Oliver W. Larkin states that "One sees in the clay the mark of Daumier's swift fingers as he nudged the skirt into
windblown folds and used a knife blade or the end of a brush handle to define the clasped arms and the wrinkles of the cloth over the
breast. In oil, he could only approximate this small masterpiece most successfully in two canvases were once owned by Arsene
Alexandre."[5]

Daumier made several paintings of The Heavy Burden. The woman and her child look like they are being pushed by the wind, and
Daumier used this as a metaphor of the greater forces they were actually fighting against. The greater forces that Daumier wanted to
show that they were trying to fight were the Revolution, the government, and poverty. The woman and her child in the painting are
outlined by a very dark shadow.

Paintings
In addition to his prodigious activity in the field of caricature—the list of Daumier's
lithographed plates compiled in 1904 numbers no fewer than 3,958—he also
painted. Except for the searching truthfulness of his vision and the powerful
directness of his brushwork, it would be difficult to recognize the creator of Robert
Macaire, of Les Bas bleus, Les Bohémiens de Paris, and the Masques, in the
paintings of Christ and His Apostles (Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam), or in his Good
Samaritan, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Christ Mocked, or even in the sketches
in the Ionides Collection at South Kensington. There is a room-full of caricatures in
the museum Am Römerholz in Winterthur. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza was
found as part of the 2012 Munich Art Hoard.[6]

As a painter, Daumier was one of the pioneers of realistic subjects, which he treated
with a point of view critical of class distinctions.[7] His paintings did not meet with
success until 1878, a year before his death, when Paul Durand-Ruel collected his
works for exhibition at his galleries and demonstrated the range of the talent of the
Daumier later in his career man who has been called the "Michelangelo of caricature". At the time of the
exhibition, Daumier was blind and living in a cottage at Valmondois, which Corot
placed at his disposal. It was there that he died.

Legacy
Baudelaire noted of him: l'un des hommes les plus importants, je ne dirai pas seulement de la
caricature, mais encore de l'art moderne. (One of the most important men, not only, I would
say, in caricature, but also in modern art.)

An exhibition of his works was held at theÉcole des Beaux-Arts in 1901.

Daumier's works are found in many of the world's leading art museums, including the Louvre,
the Metropolitan Museum of Artand the Rijksmuseum. He is celebrated for a range of works,
including a large number of paintings (500) and drawings (1000) some of them depicting the
life of Don Quijote, a theme that fascinated him for the last part of his life.

Daumier's 200th birthday was celebrated in 2008 with a number of exhibitions in Asia,
America, Australia and Europe.
Bust of Daumier by
Adolphe-Victor Geoffroy-
Dechaume

Gallery
The miller, his son and the An unhappy young child The Print Lover.
donkey, 1849 hung on a wall by his nurse, Painting, c.1857–1860
who has gone dancing.
Coloured lithograph by H.
Daumier, c. 1850.

Crispin and Scapin, 1858– Les Comediens de Société. "NADAR élevant la


1860 Lithograph published in Le Photographie à la hauteur
Charivari, 1858 de l'Art" (NADAR elevating
Photography to Art).

The Third-Class Carriage, Les Joueurs d'échecs (The Les Trains de Plaisir (The
c.1862–64 chess players), 1863. trains of pleasure).
Realist painting, oil on Lithograph published in Le
canvas, 1863 (Petit Palais) Charivari, 1864
Une discussion littéraire à la Le Wagon de troisième La capitulation de Sedan
deuxième Galerie (A literary classe (The third-class (The capitulation of Sedan).
discussion at the second carriage), 1864 Lithograph published in Le
gallery). Charivari, 1870
Lithograph published in Le
Charivari, 1864

Past, Present, Future The Laundress Oil on panel, Don Quixote and Sancho
c.1863 (Musée D'Orsay) Panza, 1868

L'Avocat au placet or Lawyer The Imaginary Invalid, From Scènes Grotesques.


with a Plea, c.1850 before 1879 Elle tenait ferme!, lithograph

Notes
1. "Honoré Daumier: A Finger on the Pulse"(https://web.archive.org/web/20130127084957/http://hammer .ucla.edu/coll
ections/detail/collection_id/4). Hammer.ucla.edu. Archived fromthe original (http://hammer.ucla.edu/collections/detai
l/collection_id/4) on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
2. Rey, page 10.
3. Frusco, Peter, Janson, H.W., The Romantics to Rodin, George Braziller
, Inc., 1980.
4. "Rue Transnonain, 15 April 1834"(http://www.19thcenturyart-facos.com/artwork/rue-transnonain-15-april-1834). An
Introduction to 19th Century Art. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
5. Larkin, Oliver W. (1966). Daumier, Man of His Time. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.
6. "Photo Gallery: Munich Nazi Art Stash Revealed"(http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/photo-gallery-munich-nazi-art-st
ash-revealed-fotostrecke-103675-3.html). Spiegel. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
7. "Revolutionary Dreams: Investigating French art"(https://web.archive.org/web/20150721051531/http://www .museum
wales.ac.uk/rhagor/revolutionary_dreams/). Archived from the original (http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/rhagor/revolu
tionary_dreams/) on 2015-07-21. Retrieved 2014-12-08.

References
Rey, Robert, Honoré Daumier, Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-0064-5
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911)."Daumier,
Honoré" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 849.

External links
Daumier works at National Gallery of Art
Daumier Website, complete website on Daumier's life and work; Bibliography, Exhibitions etc.
Daumier's biography, style and critical reception
Web Gallery of Art
Daumier Lithographs and some information atBrandeis University
Prints at the Art Institute of Chicago
Honoré Daumier (French, 1808 – 1879) on MutualArt.com
Works at the Musée d'Orsay: paintings and especially good selection of sculptures
Daumier an unusual exhibitionon YouTube A not so serious guide to an exhibition of 19th century French
caricatures by Honoré Daumier, supplied by the Daumier-Register
Honoré Daumier at Find a Grave
Website featuring a selection of Daumier videos by the Daumier Register and 500 photographs of Daumier
lithographs
Daumier Drawings, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF)
Honoré Daumier in American public collections, on the French Sculpture Census website

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