Honoré Daumier

French, 1808–1879

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Biography

The “Michelangelo of caricature,” Honoré Daumier famously satirized France’s bourgeoisie and justice system, and masterfully exposed the misery of the masses through the emerging medium of lithography. Grotesque caricatures of government officials endeared him to the public, although one-too-many scathing renderings of King Louis-Philippe also landed him six months in prison. Thereafter, he stuck to the safer ground of deriding archetypal professionals such as doctors, professors, and especially lawyers and judges, whom he deemed cruel and pretentious. While his output of lithographs and illustrative drawings was most prodigious (circa 4,000 of each), Daumier also sculpted busts of members of parliament and painted religious and historical themes in the naturalist style, including many notable images of Don Quixote riding his horse. These late works were hardly recognized during his lifetime, yet are acclaimed today for their experimental techniques.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
$3m, Sotheby's, 2013
User
Solo show at a major institution
Hammer Museum, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition
Shows Featuring Honoré Daumier
Articles Featuring Honoré Daumier
Satirist Honoré Daumier’s Spaces of the Art World
Aug 11th, 2013
Happy Birthday, Honoré Daumier
Feb 26th, 2013
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