“At the Palais de Justice,” gouache on paper by Honoré Daumier; in the Musée du Petit Palais, Paris
Ο Γάλλος καλλιτέχνης (καρικατουρίστας, ζωγράφος και γλύπτης) Honoré Daumier, που γεννήθηκε στις 26 Φεβρουαρίου του 1808 (και πέθανε το 1879), ήταν διάσημος για τα κινούμενα σχέδια και τα σχέδιά του που σατιρίζουν τη γαλλική κοινωνία, και τα έργα ζωγραφικής του που βοήθησαν στην εισαγωγή της ιμπρεσιονιστικής [Impressionist] τεχνικής στη σύγχρονη τέχνη.
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, oil on canvas by Honoré Daumier, c. 1865–70.
Daumier's paintings were probably done for the most part fairly late in his career. Although he was accepted four times by the Salon, he never exhibited his paintings otherwise and they remained practically unknown up to the time of an exhibition held at Durand-Ruel's gallery in 1878, the year of his death. The paintings are in the main a documentation of contemporary life and manners with satirical overtones, although he also did a number featuring Don Quixote as a larger-than-life hero. His technique was remarkably broad and free. As a sculptor he specialized in caricature heads and figures, and these too are in a very spontaneous style. In particular he created the memorable figure of `Ratapoil' (meaning `skinned rat'), who embodied the sinister agents of the government of Louis-Philippe. A similar political type in his graphic art was `Robert Macaire', who personified the unscrupulous profiteer and swindler.
The Print Collector, 1857-63 (40 Kb); Oil on panel; The Art Institute of Chicago