Honoré Daumier ~ Biography (1808 - 79)

Header Photograph: Honoré Daumier, circa 1850.
© Unknown

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Honoré Daumier ~ Biography

Honore Daumier worked as a cartoonist on La Caricature, founded in 1830, and was imprisoned in 1832 for representing King Louis Philippe as Gargantua. After the suppression of La Caricature in 1835 he joined Charivari, and made for it, and other similar journals, some 4,000 lithographs, mostly of the aptest and bitterest social and political satire. His watercolours and drawings of scenes in the Court of Justice, and of everyday life, are untouched by any romantic feeling for picturesque poverty, and his large oil paintings, many on the theme of Don Quixote, are loosely handled, with calligraphic brushwork and intense light and shadow.

In his old age he became blind, and was rescued from desperate poverty by Corot.

He also made some sculpture, including a series of thirty-six heads used for his drawings, many of which, in painted clay, are now in Paris (Mus. d'Orsay) and a complete set, cast in bronze, is in Washington.

There are works in Baltimore (Mus., Walters), Boston, Cambridge Mass. (Fogg), Cardiff, Glasgow, London (NG, BM, V&A, Tate, Courtauld Inst.), Montreal, New York (Met. Mus., Brooklyn), Ottawa, Paris (Petit Pal.), Philadelphia (Mus.) and Washington (NG, Corcoran, Phillips).

Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin Reference Books)

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