Honoré Daumier, ‘Caricaturana (Plate No. 27) DL 381 Robert Macaire Negociant’, 1837, David Barnett Gallery

LE CHARIVARI Publication date: 24.02.1837

Original Text:
Robert Macaire, Négociant.
Hé bien ! Monsieur Macaire, vous reprenez donc vos opérations ? – Oui j’ai mon concordat. Parbleu ! mes créanciers ne se plaindront pas, je leur abandonne: En traites sur la maison Bertrand Wormspire et Cie……. un million. En une créance sur le gouvernement des iles Sandwich….. un million. en bons d’Espagne………………. un million. La dot de ma femme en actions sur le papier, les tiges de bottes, les parapluies, les cuisines roulantes et autres banques industrielles……. un million. Total, quatre millions et je n’en dois que trois ! On ne dira pas que je fais perdre un sou !….. – Mais ces créances me semblent difficiles à recouvrer. Croyez-vous qu’on les fera rentrer ? – Ah pour cela, ça ne me regarde pas, écoutez donc ! C’est l’affaire de mes créanciers et je ne me mêle pas des affaires des autres.

Translation:

Robert Macaire, merchant.

  • Well, Mr. Macaire, you're starting up business again?
  • Yes, I have my bankruptcy certificate. By heavens, my creditors won't complain, I'm giving up to them: drafts drawn upon the firm Bertrand, Wormspire and Co.... A million; letter of credit drawn on the government of the Sandwich Islands... A million; Spanish bonds... A million; my wife's dowry, in shares in bootlaces, umbrellas, ambulant kitchens and other commercial banks... a million. Total, four million and I only owe three. Nobody can accuse me of losing a sou!...
  • But it seems very difficult to recover your shares. Do you believe that they'll be able to cash them in?
  • Ah! That's absolutely nothing to do with me, I assure you. It's my creditors' affair and I don't interfere in other people's affairs.

Image rights: David Barnett Gallery

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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