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Daumier

caricature, paris, series and painter

DAUMIER, Honore, French caricaturist and painter : b. Marseilles, 26 Feb. 1808; d. Valmondois, 10 Feb. 1879. His father tried to dissuade him from entering the artistic profession by apprenticing him to a huissier and later with a bookseller. He managed, however, to master the technique of lithography and entered on his career by making plates for music publishers and illustrations for advertisements. He joined the staff of La Caricature under Philipon and started upon his pictorial cam paign of satire. Fashion, tittletattle, scandal, poli tics, blemishes of figure and oddities of charac ter in turn inspired his inexhaustible genius for mockery. Few among his illustrious contempo raries escaped his pencil, and his caricatures had always some strikingly truthful feature about them. His caricature of Louis Philippe as led to his imprisonment for six months in 1832. La Caricature was discontinued soon after, but was replaced by Charivari, where Daumier continued his famous social caricatures in a series of sketches known as the 'Robert Macaire' series. The Revolution of 1848 turned him toward the political field and suggested two of his most remarkable series, 'Parliamentary Idylls' and 'The Representa tives Represented.) Despite his prodigious ac tivity in the field of caricature— he has left about 3,958 lithographs— he found time for painting. He produced several remarkable works in this field, such as 'Christ and Apostles,) at the Ryks Museum in Amster dam; 'The Good Samaritan); 'Don Quix ote and Sancho Niue ; 'Christ Mocked,' etc. He is represented in the Louvre by

'The Thieves and the Ass' and 'The Republic,) also in the museums of Berlin, Bucharest, The Hague, Montreal, Rheims and by two pictures in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. As a painter he was one of the pioneers of naturalism and did not meet with success until shortly before his death, when an exhibition of his works demonstrated the full range of his genius. His ability as a painter has only become generally known since the exhibition of his work in 1900. He was appre ciated and loved by his great contemporaries, Victor Hugo, Balzac, Corot, Daubigny, Cour bet, Rousseau and Diaz. He became blind in 1877 and in his last days was befriended by Corot, in whose house he died at Valmondois, Seine-et-Oise. Consult the complete catalogue of his lithographs by Hazard and Delfteil (Paris 1904) ; the biographies by Alexandre (Paris 1890) and Klossowski (Munich 1914) and Geoffroy and Frantz and Uzanne Daumier and Gavarni (London, the Studio, 1904). Consult also brief works on his lithographs by Marcel (Paris 1906) and Cary (London 1907) and Champfleury 'Histoire de la caricature mod erne' (Paris 1872).