Honore Daumier

Daumier, Honoré

Honoré Daumier (ônôrā´ dōmyā´), 1808–79, French caricaturist, painter, and sculptor. Daumier was the greatest social satirist of his day. Son of a Marseilles glazier, he accompanied his family to Paris in 1816. There he studied under Lenoir and learned lithography. He soon began to contribute cartoons to the weekly Caricature. In 1832 his representation of Louis Philippe as Gargantua caused him six months' imprisonment. Two outstanding lithographs of 1834, Rue Transnonain and Le Ventre législatif [the legislative paunch] testify to his early direct and bitterly ironic approach. After the suppression of Caricature his work appeared in Charivari, where he mercilessly ridiculed the bourgeois society of his day in a highly realistic graphic style. Relished as cartoons in his time, Daumier's lithographs, of which he produced almost 4,000, are now considered masterpieces. He also painted about 200 small canvases of power and dramatic intensity that were stylistically similar to his lithographs. Among these are Christ and His Disciples (Rijksmus.); Republic (Louvre); Three Lawyers (Phillips Gall., Washington, D.C.); the romantic Don Quixote and The Third-Class Carriage (both: Metropolitan Mus.). Daumier's sculpture includes over 30 small, painted busts. An example of his work in this medium is a statuette in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. In his last years he suffered from increasing blindness. His financial condition was perilous. Corot put at his disposal a cottage in Valmondois, and it was there that Daumier died.

See his Teachers and Students (tr. 1970); catalogue raisonné ed. by K. E. Maison (2 vol., 1968); biography by R. Rey (1985); studies by K. E. Maison (1960), O. Larkin (1966), H. P. Vincent (1968), and J. L. Wasserman (1969).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Honore Daumier: Selected full-text books and articles

Daumier, Caricaturist By Henry James Rodale Press, 1954
FREE! Modern Art: Being a Contribution to a New System of Aesthetics By Julius Meier-Graefe; Florence Simmonds; George W. Chrystal G. P. Putnam's Sons, vol.1, 1908
Librarian's tip: "Honore Daumier" begins on p. 155
FREE! Picture and Text By Henry James Harper and Brothers, 1893
Librarian's tip: "Honore Daumier" begins on p. 116
Men of Art By Thomas Craven Simon and Schuster, 1931
Librarian's tip: Chap. XVII "Daumier"
The Life and Times of Henry Monnier, 1799-1877 By Edith Melcher Harvard University Press, 1950
Librarian's tip: Chap. VII "1830: The Development of Caricature"
Painting and Sculpture in Europe, 1780 to 1880 By Fritz Novotny Penguin Books, 1960
Librarian's tip: "Honore Daumier (1808-79)" begins on p. 145
The Bite of the Print: Satire and Irony in Woodcuts, Engravings, Etchings, Lithographs and Serigraphs By Dorothy Getlein; Dorothy V. Getlein C. N. Potter, 1963
Librarian's tip: Chap. Ten "Daumier"
Making the News: Modernity & the Mass Press in Nineteenth-Century France By Dean De La Motte; Jeannene M. Przyblyski University Of Massachusetts, 1999
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "The Body Impolitic: Press Censorship and the Caricatue of Honore Daumier"
The Mirror of Art, Critical Studies By Charles Baudelaire; Jonathan Mayne Phaidon Publishers, 1955
Librarian's tip: "Some French Caricaturists" begins on p. 154
French Original Engravings from Manet to the Present Time By Claude Roger-Marx; André Gloeckner The Hyperion Press, 1939
Librarian's tip: Chap. II "The Revival of Lithography about 1862: Cadart's Initiative--Daumier's Last Lithographs"
Studies in the Comic By J. R. Caldwell; W. H. Durham; B. H. Lehman; Gordon McKenzie; J. F. Ross University of California Press, 1941
Librarian's tip: "Dickens and Daumier" begins on p. 273
Modern Sculpture: Origins and Evolution By Jean Selz; Annette Michelson George Braziller, 1963
Librarian's tip: Chap. III "A Breath of Freedom:Honore Daumier"
Paris, Capital of Modernity By David Harvey Routledge, 2003
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