"Honore Daumier was born in Marseilles, France on February 26, 1808. He was the son of a Marseille glazier who, in 1816 he moved his family to Paris. Over the next dozen years, the family lived in eight different apartments in Paris. There was never enough money, and the experience of hard times would mark Daumier for life.
At the age of twelve, Honore became a messenger boy for a process server's office and then a clerk for a bookstore - jobs that opened up to him every corner of Paris. He sketched everything and finally studied art with an academician whose idea of instruction was to have his pupils copy plaster casts hour after hour.
He was soon part of a group of young artists from the school, some of whom became lifelong friends. In studios and cafes he drew the way other people talked becoming one of the greatest draftsman who ever lived.
The lithograph was a comparatively new art in those days, but it quickly became Daumier's bread and butter. He began turning out political cartoons for an ardently antiroyalist magazine called La Caricature. For such indiscretions Daumier spent six months in prison. He was the first French artist to enter the hall of fame because the his little drawings were for the people rather than big salon paintings for aristocracy.
In 1846, at the age of thirty-eight, he settled took an apartment on the Quai d'Anjou. There, in his bare attic studio, Daumier drew lithographs depicting arrogant aristocrats, greedy landlords, sour-faced husbands and nagging wives, pretentious lawyers and pompous judges. ... absurd, gentle, savage, but always perceptive.
Daumier made lithographs, 3958 in all, until he went blind at the age of sixty-five. He also painted, though only his canvases were overshadowed by the popularity of his prints. His brush stroke was spare and strong; people were his preoccupation. No matter how ordinary their acts, Daumier revealed the drama in their lives. He captured the varied type of Parisian character. He was ruthless in his candor, but his candor was born of concern.
Among Daumier's most celebrated works were series of lithgraphs on educated women in ""le Bas Bleu"", the French politicians, married relationships in ""Les Bons Bourgeois"", hypochondriacs and gourmands in ""Galerie Phyisionomique"", ""Lawyers and the Courts"", on mountebank 'Robert Macaire' - and many others, primarily published in 'Le Charivari'. His graphic works are unsurpassed for clarity, expressiveness, truth to type and nervously rhythmic life. He drew from human nature. "
Lithograph, sur blanc LD.92; DM.1141
10 x 10 inches (25.4 x 25.4cm)
“La Caricature (Journal)” No.207 Pl.433