Medium
Image rights
Image provided by the Phillips Collection

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.

High auction record
$2.6m, Sotheby's, 2013
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Selected exhibitions
2019
Graphic Prose: Illustration Art of the 19th & 20th CenturiesChilds Gallery
The Courtauld Collection: A Vision for ImpressionismFondation Louis Vuitton
2017
A Modern Vision: European Masterworks from the Phillips CollectionKimbell Art Museum
View all

Scènes d'Atelier: Madame, j'ai bien l'honneur!..., 1848

Lithograph on paper
14 19/50 × 9 3/4 in
36.5 × 24.8 cm
Location
Washington
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Medium
Image rights
Image provided by the Phillips Collection

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.

High auction record
$2.6m, Sotheby's, 2013
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Honoré Daumier
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