Honoré Daumier, ‘A Toast to Water’, 1843, Harris Schrank Fine Prints

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), A Toast to Water, lithograph, 1843. References: Daumier Register, Delteil 1034, second state (of 4), from the series Les Canotiers Parisiens, plate number 12. Sur Blanc. In very good condition, on a cream wove paper. 12 x 9 1/2, the sheet 13 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches.

A very fine, bright and fresh impression.

This sur blanc impression (a special edition, without the newprint on the verso as typical of the impressions included in the newpaper Charivari) shows the illustration in a superb light, without the newsprint showing through, and with well delineated contrasts.

Here, from the Daumier Register, is the translation of the letters:

Original Text:
– Vois-tu, mon ami Durand… il n’y a que deux lemens qui soient ceux du bonheur pour l’homme… c’est l’eau et le vin… mais ils ne doivent jamais tre mlangs, sans a le charme est dtruit!….
– C’est vrai, Cabassol…. buvons donc encore ce verre de vin en l’honneur de l’eau!…..

Translation:
– You see, my friend Durand…. there are only two important components of happiness for a man: water and wine… but they must never be mixed, otherwise they lose their charm.
– Quite right, Cabassol…. let’s drink another glass of wine in honour of water!

Series: Les Canotiers Parisiens, plate number 12

About Honoré Daumier

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.

French, 1808-1879, Marseille, France, based in Valmondois, France

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