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News by the Daumier Register

INDEX

 

Date

Title

February 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Honoré Daumier!

October 1, 2013

DAUMIER SCULPTURES ARE ONLINE!

September 20, 2013

NEW RESEARCH RESULTS, an update

July 9, 2013

EISENSTEIN AND DAUMIER - A NEW BOOK

June 9, 2013

NEW RESEARCH RESULTS

April 9, 2013

HOMMAGE TO DAUMIER BY THE CHARIVARI IN 1864

Juy 27, 2012

DAUMIER PORTRAIT: A SCULPTURE BY A CONTEMPORARY ARTIST

2012

REPRINT BY THE DAUMIER REGISTER

June 4, 2012

DAUMIER MUST NOT DIE A SECOND TIME! An emergency situation for the DAUMIER REGISTER.

March 15, 2012

ORIGINAL OR FAKE? That is the question.

March 6, 2012

NEW DAUMIER BOOK BY MICHEL MELOT

February 11, 2012

DAUMIER OBITUARY BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

January 14, 2012

DAUMIER: FAKES AND IMITATIONS

December 28, 2011

DAUMIER AND POVERTY

May 9, 2011

DAUMIER: AN ALPHABET FOR CHILDREN

April 13, 2011

STOLEN, LOST, MISSING ART BY DAUMIER

April 13, 2011

DAUMIER OIL PAINTINGS WORK CATALOGUE

September 5, 2010

DAUMIER AND CHAM

August 15, 2010

MONSIEUR GOGO, BERNIE MADOFF AND OTHER CROOKS

June 15, 2010

AGAINST DAUMIER

May 17, 2010

MONSIEUR DAUMIER... YOU ARE FIRED!

January 26, 2010

DAUMIER’S WOOD ENGRAVINGS

May 28, 2009

RUE TRANSNONAIN as seen by André Gill and Daumier and in a PRIVATE DAUMIER EXHIBITION

March 13, 2009

6 WOOD ENGRAVINGS RE-DISCOVERED

Dec. 31, 2008

DAUMIER IN CHINA. New website

Dec. 14, 2008

NEW BOOK ON DAUMIER by Ségolène Le Men

Sept. 25, 2008

HONORÉ DAUMIERS WELT. Grosse Ausstellung in Pfäffikon (Schweiz)

August 27, 2008

SO LONG, MONSIEUR DAUMIER, IT'S BEEN A WONDERFUL YEAR

July 10, 2008

DIETMAR LIEBSCH DRUCKT DAUMIER LITHOS

July 3, 2008

DISCOVERY OF A DAUMIER DRAWING ON A WOODBLOCK FROM 1868

July 3, 2008

ENTDECKUNG EINER DAUMIER ZEICHNUNG AUF HOLZ AUS DEM JAHR 1868

April 21, 2008

DAUMIER IN PARIS - AN EXHIBITION NOT TO BE MISSED!

April 4, 2008

NEW DAUMIER BOOK - A RECOMMENDATION

March 5, 2008

CALL FOR PAPERS

December 7, 2007

RATAPOIL - AN INTERNATIONAL STUDY

October 12, 2007

INTERNET PRESENCE OF THE DAUMIER REGISTER IN THE GERMAN PROMETHEUS DATABASE

October 12, 2007

AUFTRITT VOM DAUMIER REGISTER IN DER PROMETHEUS DATENBANK (auf deutsch)

October 8, 2007

ALL STONES ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS...

August 9, 2007

DAUMIER - DU RIRE AUX ARMES 1848-1870 (en français)

April 9, 2007

CENSORSHIP - COMMENTED BY PHILIPON

March 9, 2007

WOOD ENGRAVINGS IN THE DAUMIER REGISTER

February 21, 2007

WAHRE HELDEN? DAUMIER UND DIE ANTIKE

February 2, 2007

MAX LIEBERMANN UND DAUMIER (auf deutsch)

October 2, 2006

PUBLICATIONS AND COPYRIGHT

August 15, 2006

THE GRAVE RESTORATION IS MAKING PROGRESS

August 1, 2006

AN ORIGINAL WOODBLOCK REDISCOVERED AFTER 144 YEARS

July 26, 2006

THE DAUMIER REGISTER - NOW MORE EASILY ACCESSIBLE. (english/deutsch/français)

May 30, 2006

ABSINTH IN DAUMIERS WERK (auf deutsch)

September 7, 2005

DR 3390: A RARE LITHOGRAPH REDISCOVERED

September 1, 2005

LA RENTRÉE - BACK TO SCHOOL. Slide show

August 13, 2005

SUMMERTIME! A new slide show in this website

July 28, 2005

DAUMIER AND THE WOOD ENGRAVINGS BY MEYNIAL

June 3, 2005

BOUVENNE’S COLOR MODELS: STILL ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS…. AND SOME ANSWERS

May 30, 2005

CLAY FIGURES EXHIBITED AT MUSÉE D’ORSAY, PARIS

April 6, 2005

BOUVENNE’S COLOR MODELS: MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS.

March 25, 2005

DON QUIJOTE EXHIBITION IN SPAIN

March 10, 2005

SMALL SIZE VERSIONS OF FOUR WELL-KNOWN DAUMIER PRINTS – A RARE FIND!

March 7, 2005

Call for Papers

February 1, 2005

IMPORTANT DAUMIER COLLECTION FOR SALE.

January 26, 2005

THE DAUMIER REGISTER © - The countdown has started!

December 26, 2004

MOURLOT and DAUMIER REPRINTS.

November 13, 2004

HOW RICH OR POOR WAS DAUMIER?

October 1, 2004

LE CHARIVARI BELGE, Recent Research Results

August 25, 2004

Tobu Museum Japan Closed (with large Daumier Collection!)

August 17, 2004

The "Web Site of the Week"

July 19, 2004

Third Class Carriage - A Treasure Unearthed!

July 6, 2004

“Daumier and Exoticism” (Satirizing the French and the Foreign). New book on the market!

July 1, 2004

PRESS ON! Daumier and Impressions of the 19th Century

June 15, 2004

Réinventer un catalogue raisonné sur Internet : l’exemple de l’œuvre d’Honoré Daumier. Conférence Université de Lausanne (en français)

May 27, 2004

19th century „thumbnails“, a recent discovery from the MetMuseum.

May 19, 2004

DAUMIER & the CHARIVARI - Have you ever wondered where the name CHARIVARI comes from?

May 1, 2004

"HONORÉ DAUMIER - AKTUELLER DENN JE!" - EUROPÄISCHE VISIONEN (in German)

May 1, 2004

AN ABSOLUTE RARITY! BUT IS IT A DAUMIER?? LD C

April 28, 2004

A LETTER FROM PRISON

April 19, 2004

PRINTER VERSUS CENSOR: LD 3484

April 15, 2004

NEWS FROM DAUMIER'S GRAVE

April 5, 2004

ANOTHER DAUMIER DISCOVERY! LD 755

March 23, 2004

LATEST DAUMIER DISCOVERIES: LD 915

February 2, 2004

THE FRENCH HAVE JOKES, BUT DO THEY HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR?

June 16, 2003

LATEST FINDINGS ABOUT LD 3740

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see DAUMIER IN THE PRESS click here

 

 

 

 



Happy Birthday Honoré Daumier

ABOUT THE PAITING DR7189

 

 

A blog was posted on the Internet ( blog.phillipscollection.org/2014/02/26/happy-birthday-honore-daumier/ ) on Feb. 26, 2014 under the title "Happy Birthday Honoré Daumier" showing details of a technical study undertaken by painting conservator Elizabeth Steele in 1999 of this painting.

 

-------------------------------------------

 

Ein Blog vom 26.Februar 2014 unter dem Titel: "Happy Birthday Honoré Daumier"

( blog.phillipscollection.org/2014/02/26/happy-birthday-honore-daumier/ ) zeigt einzelne Schritte einer technischen Studie zu diesem Gemälde. Sie ist die Arbeit der Gemälde-Konservatorin Elizabeth Steele aus dem Jahr 1999.

 

 

-------------------------------------------

 

Un blog du 26 février 2014 sous le titre: "Happy Birthday Honoré Daumier" ( blog.phillipscollection.org/2014/02/26/happy-birthday-honore-daumier/ ) montre des détails d'une recherche technique faite par la conservatrice Elizabeth Steele en 1999 au sujet de ce tableau.

 

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DAUMIER SCULPTURES ARE ONLINE!

 

It's finally here! Daumier's sculptures are online as an integrated part of the DAUMIER REGISTER. This complex and elaborate section of the catalog raisonné has taken up more time than expected, but we hope that the effort

was worthwhile.

 

Unfortunately, for cost reasons we had to save on some technical subtleties, as our fund-raising drive of last year had not brought the desired success. But we are sure you will be satisfied with this version. You will notice that we did not incorporate the numerous detailed photos in the various sculpture lists. But you can at any time receive them upon request.

 

All other search functions are like in the existing DAUMIER REGISTER and include cross references with all techniques. To find the new sculptures section, either go to "Start your search by" and select "sculptures", or scroll down to the bottom of the Introduction page and click the little icon with the text: "Click here to see all the sculptures." Right next to it you will also find a brief description as an introduction to the sculpture section.

 

As always, we welcome your suggestions and comments. Our last major contribution to the Daumier Register will be the drawings section, at which we have already been working for some time.

 

 

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NEW RESEARCH RESULTS, an update

 

At the beginning of this summer we introduced to you our new section of the DAUMIER REGISTER’S: "New Research Results". We had started off with the first 50 articles, noting that many Daumier collectors and scholars were amazed about the hidden messages in Daumier's lithographic work, which had not been recognized before.

 

Now, as the summer comes to an end, we can already look at one hundred articles in this interesting and unusual project. And there are still many more to come.

 

We would be happy to receive your opinion whether you find this new section useful and attractive and whether you enjoy the form and the content. Please take a moment to send us a short email (the contact button is at the upper right of each page). Your feedback and comments will surely encourage us to pursue this task in collaboration with our contributing friends: Alex Djordjevic, our “detective-in-chief”, and Ada Ackerman sharing with us her scholarly interest in the Daumier-Eisenstein relation.

 

To see the list of articles, go to

www.daumier-register.org/werklist.php

and select “New Research Results”,

 

or go directly to

www.daumier-register.org/werklist.php

 

 

 

 

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EISENSTEIN AND DAUMIER - A NEW BOOK

 

Van Gogh did it…. Degas did it…. but Eisenstein?

 

We are all aware that Degas, Cézanne and van Gogh collected Daumier prints. Van Gogh’s enthusiasm even went so far as to copy one of Daumier’s wood engravings, “Les Quatre Ages” (DR6014) as an oil painting.

 

To our great surprise, the famous film director Sergej Eisenstein, saw his first Daumier lithographs as a ten year old child in his father’s house. This first encounter eventually influenced the future of his entire artistic work. At the age of twenty, he already had a remarkable collection of prints and books on Daumier. For his cinematographic work he used numerous scenes from Daumier’s work and adjusted them for his films such as “Armored Cruiser Potemkin” or “Octobre” from 1927.

 

The list of new and surprising findings presented by Ms. Ada Ackerman is long and exciting. The book (in French only) has recently been published and is full of new, hitherto unknown information about the artistic connection between Eisenstein and Daumier. It underlines the immense influence Daumier had not only on his fellow painters and draftsmen but also on 20th century film-making.

 

Eisenstein and Daumier

by Ada Ackerman

Armand Collin Publication, Paris

ISBN 978-2-200-27714-7

 

We highly recommend this book to all our Daumier Friends.

 

Ada Ackerman is also a contributing author to the Daumier-Register with articles for the “New Research” section. We greatly appreciate her involvement and we are convinced that her findings will be of great interest to the Daumier community.

 

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NEW RESEARCH RESULTS

 

 

It may not quite be a “Daumier Code”….. but did you know that there are many hidden messages in Daumier's lithographs besides the well-known pear shape symbolizing Louis-Philippe and thus avoiding censorship rejection?

 

There are a number of obvious symbols and encryptions, which are well known to Daumier scholars and documented in the literature. But would you ever suspect a deeper meaning behind the lithograph showing an old man in a nightgown contemplating his aging appearance (DR744: Le coton tombe, l'homme reste, et le mollet s'évanouit)? Or: what does DR1716 "Aspect de la Seine de Paris à Chatou" have to do with Corot's birthday? And: what would "Récriminations" (Counter-accusations), DR1720, a seemingly harmless discussion between two neighbours about their common border, have to do with politics?

 

You can now find these and many more “encrypted lithographs” explained in detail in the Daumier-Register. We have created a new section with a search link in addition to the existing ones called “New Research Results”. The first fifty articles have just been inserted in this new section, and during the coming months we will constantly add more findings. Thanks to the initiative of the dedicated Daumier scholar and encryption specialist, Alex Djordjevic, who over the last years has made hundreds of highly interesting discoveries in Daumier’s work, we have together been able to create a platform and to edit and publish a plethora of fascinating discoveries.

 

Go to the list by clicking on

www.daumier-register.org/werklist.php

or go directly to

www.daumier-register.org/werklist.php

to see the list of articles. You will find the result of in-depth research and learn about interesting and unexpected historic contexts. We hope you will enjoy reading the articles; please do come back and find out about new additions.

 

 

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REPRINT BY THE DAUMIER REGISTER

 

 

In 2012 The Daumier Register in preparation for a Daumier exhibition in Switzerland produced a reprint of Daumier’s only known etching, “The Old Man” (see: DR3955). The etching had been published in Champfleury's work from the copper original plate from 1872. For the reprint, the tiny image, measuring 225 x 100 mm was photographically enhanced to 235 x 282 mm and transferred to a copper plate. The engraving was then printed at an Art printer’s workshop in Locarno, Switzerland, in a strictly limited edition of 10 on China paper, numbered “I/X - X/X” and 50 on Japan paper, numbered 1/50 - 50/50. These rare prints were given to special collectors and sponsors of the Daumier Register all over the world.

 

***

 

Im Jahr 2012 hat das Daumier Register die einzige bekannte Radierung von Daumier “Der alte Mann” (siehe DR3955) in einer limitierten Auflage reproduziert. Die Radierung war ursprünglich bei Champfleury von der Original Kupferplatte von 1872 publiziert worden. Für die Neuauflage wurde das winzige Bild (225 x 100mm) graphisch vergrössert auf 235 x 282 mm und auf eine Kupferplatte transferiert. Danach wurde die Radierung in einer Kunst-Druckerei in Locarno, Schweiz handwerklich in einer strikt limitierten Auflage von 10 Exemplaren auf China Papier mit den Nummern “I/X - X/X” und von 50 Exemplaren auf Japan Papier mit den Nummern 1/50 - 50/50 hergestellt. Diese seltenen Drucke wurden speziellen Sammlern und Sponsoren des Daumier Registers als Geschenk überreicht.

 

***

 

En 2012 le Daumier Register a reproduit la seule gravure de Daumier „Le vieil homme“ (DR3955) dans une édition limitée. La gravure avait été publiée par Champfleury du cuivre original de 1872. Pour la reproduction la petite image (225 x 100 mm) a été graphiquement agrandie à 235 x 282 mm et transférée sur une plaque de cuivre. La gravure a été ensuite imprimée à un atelier d'impression d'art à Locarno, en Suisse, dans une édition strictement limitée de 10 sur papier de Chine, numérotée "I / X - X / X" et 50 sur papier Japon, numérotée 1/50-50/50. Ces gravures rares ont été données à des collectionneurs particuliers et les sponsors du Daumier Register partout dans le monde.

 

 

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HOMMAGE TO DAUMIER BY THE CHARIVARI IN 1864

 

The artists of the Charivari pay hommage to Daumier upon his return to the newspaper in 1864 with a banquet:

 

 

 

La rentrée de Daumier au Charivari vient d'être fêtée dans un banquet où les célébrités de toutes sortes se coudoyaient.

Cet hommage rendu à l'éminen caricaturiste avait été voté d'enthousiasme par un groupe de ses admirateurs, et ce groupe a fait boule de neige, si bien que le restaurant Champeaux a été envahi au jour fixé par une foule sympathique, heureuse de témoigner en quelle estime elle tient notre dessinateur.

Barye, Corot, Daubigny et tant d'autres, littérateurs ou artistes, ont salué de leurs acclamations les toasts qui ont été portés au crayon puissant, l'honneur de notre journal.

Cham était de la fête, et son esprit inépuisable a jeté une note gaie dans ce concert affectueux.

Carjat a prononcé un speech très amusan. - "Messieurs, a-t-il dit, j'avais fondé un journal qui, dans mes espérances les plus présomptueuses, ne devait vivre que six semaines; eh bien, grâce à Daumier, grâce à sa collaboration secourable, le Boulevard s'est chauffé pendant un an au soleil de la publicité; et il vivrait encore si l'abonné fugitif n'avait pas pour mission d'étonner le monde par son ingratitude! - A Daumier! qui a fait vivre un an en le touchant de son crayon magique l'enfant chéri, mais maladif qui sans lui n'aurait jamais pu percer sa première et son unique dent!..."

Quant au Charivari, qui grâce à Dieu, a son ratelier au complet, il considère comme un devoir de s'associer au toast de Carjat en poussant ce cri du coeur: - A Daumier! et puissions-nous un jour célébrer la soixantaine de son mariage avec la rue du Croissant!

 

Louis Leroy.

 

 

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DAUMIER PORTRAIT: A SCULPTURE BY A CONTEMPORARY ARTIST

 

This Spring (2012) Prof. Gertrud Krüskemper, an artist and art historian from Düsseldorf, Germany, contacted us to inform us that she was planning to do a portrait sculpture of Daumier. In order to get to know Daumier from "all sides" she needed photographs which we were able to supply.

 

In April, Mrs Krüskemper started with the preliminary steps and we were very surprised when we received regular updates with photographs where we could see the progress. It was very exciting to follow the making of a modern bust, since usually one sees only the final result of a sculpture.

 

The final stage has been reached: the clay bust has been burned. The artist is now offering to interested collectors to acquire a bronze, which she will have made to order from a specialized foundry. We are sure that this attractive portrait of Daumier will enrich any collection and we hope that many Daumier friends will make use of this interesting offer. Please contact the artist directly in order to discuss any details (krueskem [at] uni-duesseldorf.de).

 

    

 

    

 

See the video on Youtube: Daumier:Variation zum Selbstportrait

 

DEUTSCHER TEXT:

 

DAUMIER PORTRÄT: EINE SKULPTUR EINER ZEITGENÖSSISCHEN KÜNSTERIN

 

Im Frühling dieses Jahres (2012) kontaktierte uns die Künstlerin und Kunsthistorikerin Prof. Gertrud Krüskemper aus Düsseldorf, um uns mitzuteilen, dass Sie eine Daumier Büste erschaffen wollte. Dazu benötigte sie Fotos, um Daumier "von allen Seiten" kennen zu lernen.

 

Im April begann Prof. Krüskemper mit den ersten Arbeiten, und es freute uns sehr, als wir in regelmässigen Abständen Fotos erhielten, auf denen der Fortschritt ersichtlich war. Es war sehr interessant, das Entstehen einer modernen Büste mitzuverfolgen, da man ja in der Regel nur das endgültige Resultat einer Arbeit zu sehen bekommt.

 

Nun ist die endgültige Form erreicht: die Tonbüste ist gebrannt. Die Künstlering biete jetzt interessierten Sammlern die Möglichkeit, eine Bronze-Version der Büste zu erwerben, die sie bei einer spezialisierten Giesserei in Auftrag geben wird. Wir sind sicher, dass dieses attraktive Daumier-Porträt eine Bereicherung für jede Sammlung sein wird, und wir hoffen, dass viele Daumier-Freunde von diesem interessanten Angebot Gebrauch machen werden. Hierzu bitten wir Sie, die Künstlerin direkt zu kontaktieren, um alle Einzelheiten persönlich zu besprechen (krueskem [at] uni-duesseldorf.de).

 

Sehen Sie hier das Video auf Youtube: Daumier:Variation zum Selbstportrait

 

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DAUMIER MUST NOT DIE A SECOND TIME!

 

AN EMERGENCY SITUATION FOR THE DAUMIER REGISTER.

 

As we all know there are days of joy and days of sorrow in life... Ten years ago, when we started the DAUMIER REGISTER, it was clear to us that there would never be a financial reward for this labour of love. It was our intention to provide a tool for the Daumier community free of charge and free of advertising. As it turns out, our catalogue is the first – and so far the only - online work catalogue done for a specific artist.

 

Since the content of the DAUMIER REGISTER is constantly growing, the present software structure has reached its limits and we risk a system collapse. Before being able to add Daumier's sculptures and later on his drawings to the existing database, there are some serious changes and investments to be made in order to ensure the functionality of the entire system. Without bothering you with technical details we would just like to inform you that the renewal of our system will involve programming, transferring of existing data and creating a new database and structure. We are facing huge costs amounting to about 30'000 Euros. Since we are presently ready to go online with all the sculpture data our problem is an urgent one and needs to be solved soon.

 

This situation makes it necessary to contact you and ask for your kind support. Please help us! Your contribution will make a difference! With your help and good will we will be able to keep the DAUMIER REGISTER alive. Any amount you can make available is more than welcome. Please see below how you can make a donation to the DAUMIER REGISTER.

 

Our THANK YOU PRESENT to sponsors donating 1'000 Euros or more (or the equivalent in any other currency) will be a private viewing of an important Daumier exhibition organised by the DAUMIER REGISTER and held at the Museum of Ascona, Switzerland in July of this year. Dieter Noack of the DAUMIER REGISTER will host your private tour of the exhibition (the date will be made available soon). At this occasion, these sponsors will special receive as a gift of appreciation, an elegantly presented Daumier engraving in a limited edition produced during a live presentation at the exhibition. It will be an enlarged reprint of Daumier’s only known engraving (DR3955) and will represent a unique collectors’ piece. Donors who are unable to attend the tour will receive the gift by mail.

 

We sincerely hope for your support! Thank you for keeping Daumier alive.

 

Please choose from the following payment options:

 

- PAYPAL: use the ‘DONATE BUTTON’ below.

It is directly linked to our account with Paypal. You can make donations through Paypal even if you don’t have a Paypal account, by using your CREDIT CARD.

 

- CHECK: If you prefer to send us a check: please make it out to: Dieter Noack, Daumier Register and mail it to: The Daumier Register, PO Box 645, CH-6612 ASCONA, Switzerland

 

- BANK TRANSFER: Should you wish to make a bank transfer please contact us (info@daumier.org) and we will be happy to give you our bank details.

 

THANK YOU.

 

 

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ORIGINAL OR FAKE? That is the question.

 

Today we would like to engage those collectors who own either sculptures "attributed to Daumier" or lithographs based on the unbaked clay models. Some of those are now part of the Musée d’Orsay collection in Paris.

 

This January (2012) a Spanish auction house offered a sculpture originating from a private collection in Perpignan, France. The work did not have a title and from the theme and expression we would suggest naming it "L'Ivrogne" or "The Drunkard". The sculpture, which carries some old auction stamps on its base, is made of plaster (!). It undoubtedly shows similarities to some of Daumier’s lithographs, wood engravings and drawings. The height of 285 mm ranges somewhere between the known figurines and the "Ratapoil" sculpture.

 

    

 

    

 

 

 

 

A number of questions arise to which we invite your comments and answers:

 

- Can it be considered an original?

- Might it be one of the many fakes found on the market?

- Could it be that a lost figurine has finally surfaced?

- If so, why is it made of plaster, not of clay, like all the others?

- And why of this unusual size?

- Why are there no known bronze copies?

 

 

We invite you to participate in the description of this sculpture in the Daumier Register. Since we will shortly be adding all of Daumier’s sculptures to the digital work catalogue, we will include the most realistic and justifiable answers from collectors like you to the description of this sculpture in our work catalogue.

 

We are looking forward to receiving your comments.

 

 

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NEW DAUMIER BOOK BY MICHEL MELOT

 

A new book on Daumier will be launched these days by Michel Melot, with the title: “Éloge de Daumier”.

 

The book, which is being published by ‘Pagine d'Arte’, 2012 in Lugano, Switzerland, is the latest research done by the author. There is no doubt that Michel Melot, author of “Daumier, l’art et la république” can be considered a Daumier specialist and connoisseur. He has over the years published more than 10 books and articles on Daumier. His elaborate findings represent an important contribution to Daumier research.

 

The new book highlights comments of Daumier’s contemporaries and elegantly brings them into context with examples of Daumier’s painted and graphic oeuvre. The generously illustrated booklet is a valuable new addition and goes beyond the more common coffee table book literature on Daumier.

 

 

 

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DAUMIER OBITUARY BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

133 years ago today - on February 11, 1879 - Honoré Daumier died in his house in Valmondois, France in the presence of his wife and a few friends. We feel that this would be a good moment to remember the great artist.

 

Taking into account the enormous interest in Daumier’s life and work found on the American continent already during Daumier’s lifetime, we invite you to read the obituary here below published by the New York Times on March 3, 1879 .

 

 

We feel this heart-warming text expresses still today the feeling many collectors all over the world cherish towards this unique artist.

 

You can find much more information about Daumier’s biography, such as

· Daumier's Life

· Portraits-Gallery

· Iconography

· Stamps and Medals

· Cost of living in Daumier's time

· Birth Certificate and other documents

· Pictures from Daumier's life

· Daumier Curiosities

 

on this website under DAUMIER'S BIOGRAPHY.

 

 

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DAUMIER: FAKES AND IMITATIONS

 

Over the years, while providing expertise of Daumier oil paintings, we had the opportunity to discover a great number of copies / imitations / fakes. Many works date back to Daumier's time; in fact Daumier himself complained about an ever increasing number of forgeries he came across. Still today many imitators try to declare their works as "original Daumier".

 

Please have a look at a selection of these paintings on this website under CARICATURES >> FAKES & IMITATIONS (or click on this link). As you will see, some of the works had been offered on the Art market as originals, others as Daumier attributions, or "in the manner of Daumier". We invite you to take the time and 'enjoy' this Gallery of Fakes and Imitations where you will be able to choose between PAINTINGS, LITHOGRAPHS, DRAWINGS and SCULPTURES - all "in the manner of Daumier". We are constantly adding new findings.

 

 

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DAUMIER AND POVERTY

 

Did Daumier die as a poor man? This question has often been asked and opinions vary between two extremes. To get an impression at some costs of everyday life in Daumier's time we listed some prices on this website (Daumier's biography > Cost of Living in Daumier's Time ).

 

By coincidence, we now found a handwritten letter (presently in a private collection) addressed to a certain Mme Lobot in Paris. From this document it becomes clear that on December 16, 1862 Daumier had to sell some of his furniture.

 

 

The English translation reads as follows:

 

“My wife was mistaken on the price of the small piece of furniture. The last price is 15 francs instead of 12. The one made of rosewood is 18 francs. We will see you soon. Don’t forget to come for dinner on Sunday. h.Daumier”

 

We must assume that this letter may be a reference to Daumier's poor financial situation at that stage of his life. As you might remember, Philipon had dismissed Daumier in February 1860 from the Charivari. A period of dire straits began which only improved around December 1863, after Philipon’s death, when Daumier started working again for the Charivari. Poverty was one of the frequently depicted topics in his oeuvre. To see our short video covering this theme in his work, we invite you to look at: DAUMIER ON POVERTY. A Story in Pictures on www.youtube.com/watch.

 

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DAUMIER: AN ALPHABET FOR CHILDREN

 

It is with the greatest pleasure that we can introduce you to some relatively unknown Daumier lithographs. In 1835/1836 the Parisian publishing house Aubert offered the so-called ‘Macédoines”, small booklets measuring only 14 x 9 cm containing an alphabet with easy to understand texts for children. At the end of the booklet an accordion-like ‘Panorama’ showing the 24 letters of the French alphabet in conjunction with charming images by Daumier was added. The children were invited by the publisher to hand-colour the pictures, thus playfully learning the alphabet.

 

 

As you may have or still will experience with your own children, these booklets did not withstand the onslaught of the creative little hands of children; they subsequently disappeared over time. Presently only three complete, hand-coloured ‘Panoramas’ still exist at the Morgan Library in New York, at Harvard and at the Princeton-Cotsen Library. Only one single, ‘untouched’ black and white copy can presently be found in the Noack private collection in Switzerland.

 

We invite you to see these unusual and delightful little works of Art by Daumier HERE and read al the details.

 

 

 

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STOLEN, LOST, MISSING ART BY DAUMIER

 

We have added a new section to this website where we give information on "Stolen, Lost, Missing Art by Daumier" (go to: Collecting Daumier > Stolen, Lost, Missing Art by Daumier). During our research for Daumier's oil paintings we had the opportunity to investigate the whereabouts of many works. As a result we were able to publish the two lists: LOST AND MISSING PAINTINGS and STOLEN OR LOOTED PAINTINGS. Both lists are highly revealing and you will be able to link to the DAUMIER REGISTER for each painting.

 

 

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DAUMIER OIL PAINTINGS WORK CATALOGUE

 

The DAUMIER REGISTER has accomplished another step towards the completion of the catalogue raisonné. We are happy to inform you that we have published the catalogue raisonné of Daumier's oil paintings. This represents the third part of the DAUMIER REGISTER (http://www.daumier-register.org) after the 4'000 lithographs and the 1'000 wood engravings.

 

You will now find all of Daumier's 540 paintings in the same structure as the prints. We have added several new search functions to define the paintings and to allow cross references between paintings and the graphic oeuvre.

 

Several years of research have gone into this work catalogue and we wouldn't have been able to complete it without the generous help of many Museums, Libraries and private collectors to whom we are immensely grateful. But apart from our own input we also relied on computer programming specialists. If you feel that our work might be useful and of interest to your collection we would greatly appreciate if you could consider a donation towards the upkeep of this research tool.

 

 

We hope you will enjoy this new addition.

 

 

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DAUMIER AND CHAM

 

"Daumier Again". The survey by David Kunzle contrasts Daumier's career with that of the then much more popular Amédée de Noé, who was known under his penname Cham. He was ten years younger and a disciple of Daumier's role model, the tragically underrated Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet, who was banned by Baudelaire from the pantheon of Caricature. Whereas the previous article „Against Daumier“ mainly argued from a viewpoint of graphic social reporting, Kunzle´s contribution with his emphasis on pictorial narration sheds a more specific light on the question why Daumier was blamed by his publisher Philipon for his lack of imagination.

 

Read David Kunzle’s article by clicking on this link: meltonpriorinstitut.org/pages/textarchive.php5

 

DEUTSCHER TEXT:

Klicken Sie hier, um eine Zusammenfassung des Artikels von David Kunzle auf deutsch und den ganzen Artikel auf englisch zu lesen: meltonpriorinstitut.org/pages/textarchive.php5

 

 

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MONSIEUR GOGO, BERNIE MADOFF AND OTHER CROOKS

 

It is highly interesting to compare how crooks went about to milk their clients in the 19th and 21st century in the banking and investment field. Alexia Yates wrote a fascinating article, which will be part of her future dissertation under the title: "C'est comme ça que vous entendez les affaires?" Gogos and the Moral Parameters of Commercial Life in Nineteenth-Century France.

 

We are sure you will enjoy this text. Please click here to read it.

 

As always, you can find the Daumier prints on Mr. Gogo by consulting the DAUMIER REGISTER

 

 

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AGAINST DAUMIER

 

The Daumier-Register endeavors to make Daumier’s work ‘more available’ to the public. We, Lilian and Dieter Noack, are the two persons responsible for the creation, maintenance and the future of this research tool. Having been collectors and admirers of Daumier’s oeuvre for more than 40 years may create an asphyxiating feeling of entitlement that Daumier certainly must have been the greatest artist in the 19th century, as repeatedly confirmed by Baudelaire, Alexandre and other admirers. Or was he?

 

It therefore is highly unusual to find a very well written article by Alexander Roob, who claims and argues precisely the opposite. He aims at Daumier’s lack of imagination (remember our last Newsletter?), comparing him with fellow artists like Traviès, Grandville etc. Heresy?…. we think not!

 

We invite you to look at this unusual, well founded, albeit disturbing article under the following link:

 

www.meltonpriorinstitut.org/pages/textarchive.php5

 

 

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MONSIEUR DAUMIER... YOU ARE FIRED!

 

"Dear Monsier Daumier….. I am sorry, but you are fired."

 

It happens to the best, as we all know. To Daumier, it happened in February1860. His boss, Charles Philipon, who may have been better as an administrator of the Charivari than as an artist (as he had secretly aspired), published his justification for the dismissal more than a year later, on September 21, 1861 in the “Journal Amusant” on page 7 and 8. The reason given was: “lack of imagination”. To put an extra topping on the belated explanation the article was entitled sarcastically: “Abdication de Daumier I “.

 

Little did Philipon know how much his decision would transmogrify Daumier’s life at its roots! Daumier’s fascination with painting and drawing was over many years asphyxiated due to constant pressure to deliver a plethora of caricatures to the Charivari and it eventually became a central motivation in his evolution as a painter and draughtsman. Still, at the same period, while being on the cusp of becoming the famous painter now so cherished by us, some of his finest lithographs appeared in “Le Boulevard”, and some of his highly important political prints appeared in the “Album du Siège” around 1870/71. Lack of imagination?

 

See here an excerpt from a book by Naomi Ritter “Art as Spectacle”, Images of the entertainer since romanticism, where she comments Philipon's attitude towards Daumier in connection with his article in the "Journal Amusant".

 

 

When looking at the dates of origin of Daumier’s most artistic and expressive paintings, it becomes evident that the period after 1860 proved to be highly important for his artistic development as a painter.

 

Thus an initially negative professional experience opened up the path to a prolific painted oeuvre, which had remained restrained for decades.

 

Merci Monsieur Philipon…. you could hardly have done better.

 

On a different note: the Daumier Register, in an attempt to make the viewing of Daumier’s caricatures even more enjoyable and easily accessible in a 21st century manner, has produced several short videos, which can be seen on Youtube (Click here)

 

 

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DAUMIER’S WOOD ENGRAVINGS

 

Here below is a highly interesting article about Daumier’s wood engravings from the year 1926 by M. H. DANIELS, then at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. We feel that her thoughts and observations are still today invaluable to the ardent collector of Daumier prints. We are very pleased to have discovered this article and to be able to introduce it here, since most collectors of Daumier prints are specializing in his lithographs, while his wood engravings still today don’t seem to get the appreciation they deserve.

 

(Quote)

Picked up one at a time during a series of years and individually of such comparatively slight importance that few have justified more than the merest passing mention in the BULLETIN, there has gradually been brought together in the Print Room of the Metropolitan Museum a little group of books illustrated with woodcuts by Daumier that is not without its very real interest for such people as take the nineteenth-century woodcuts seriously as works of art.

 

As a medium for book illustration, the woodcut after having held the floor in the fifteenth century and rivaled engraving in the sixteenth, declined almost to obscurity in the seventeenth and eighteenth, but came back once more into its own in the nineteenth century. Adapting itself so easily to caricature, the century in France is marked by the drawings upon wood of such notable delineators of life and manners as Grandville, Victor Adam, Traviès, Emy, Gavarni, Monnier, and one of the greatest of all illustrators and caricaturists, Honoré Daumier.

 

It is surprising that so few of the many who have recorded the works of Daumier have given much space to his woodcuts, all being concerned for the most part with his paintings or with the lithographs which appeared in the two Paris dailies, La Caricature and Le Charivari, by which he earned his daily bread. Yet in the medium of the woodcut Daumier was surely at his best. Dropping for the moment the political ferment of the day with its attending choleric attack upon some high dignitary of the law or, at Philipon's request, upon Louis-Philippe himself, Daumier took his material from life about him in the Paris streets and suburbs.

 

Intimate and friendly, for all the touch of malice behind them, the little vignettes decorating the pages of Les Français peints par eux-mêmes, Muséum Parisien, La Grande Ville, Némésis Médicale, and Le Prisme (1840-1842) have a spontaneity and freedom that must necessarily have been lost in the daily grinding out of the famed lithographs. Their greatness lies in something more than such attributions of quality as good drawing, technique, brilliancy, and other phrases of print description. Finding drama in the most casual goings and comings of the people about him, Daumier, drawing his social caricatures with an uncompromising hand, shows an amazing, almost psychic penetration into the very soul of the many layers of society of the time.

 

Caustic, satirical, with startling directness he seems so easily to catch the spirit of each of his types. The complacent, wealthy bourgeois, stuffy city official, and unctuous bill-collector are just that-nothing more. He depicts the struggles of the lower classes for existence and with each other with an unsurpassed eloquence. Daumier has put his finger upon all the bathos and pathos in ordinary living. Ineffably amusing is the cut from Le Monde Illustré of the family walking through the Egyptian galleries of a museum and, as all three gaze up at a wall-relief depicting a row of animal-headed deities the wife exclaiming, "No, the Egyptians were not beautiful."

 

Through a series of incidents created by Daumier and afterwards used to illustrate Paul de Kock's La Grande Ville, one can follow the daily life of the bourgeois Parisian from his rising in the morning, his toilet, his way to business or morning promenade, the pause at noon in the garden of the Palais Royal to set his watch by the report from the little cannon, through his afternoon amusements in the Champs Elysées and Bois de Boulogne, to the evening at the theatre and his retiring.

 

In sharp contrast to this smug, well-fed middle class, there are in the same volume the lodging-house inmates at four sous the night. The drawing of the shabby little man sitting on his mattress, back against the wall and smoking his clay pipe, his hat and slippers on the floor beside him while all around him sleep the other "guests," is nothing short of masterly! Riimann in his catalogue sentimentally speaks of these illustrations as the "Sunshine and Rain in Life."

 

In the Nemesis Médicale, Daumier helps the author, François Fabre, to take a fling at the whole medical profession from the worthy M. D.s and sages-femmes to the charlatans on their soapboxes. He depicts crowds swarming into the gates of an Orthopedic Institute, the gruesome ravages of a cholera-morbus epidemic, and the strutting father having the strangely shaped head of his infant prodigy examined by a phrenologist. Will he tell the fond parent that it is not an indication of genius as he has supposed but probably criminal tendencies?

 

And so Daumier goes on through his astounding medley of types. Sympathetically, almost tenderly it seems at times, he produces with amazingly simple treatment his powerful studies of physiognomies. With what whimsicality he has drawn the two street musicians in Le Monde Illustré or the poet writing in bed in his attic or the groups of art-lovers in the galleries and auction rooms.

 

Although of the last century, Daumier cannot be held to his period. Not only did he exert a powerful influence upon his contemporaries and immediate followers, for example, Millet and Delacroix, but he continues to be a fertile source of inspiration. He is too great to be anything but eternal and universal. The illustrations of these little books have as much appeal as though they were done by one of our present-day cartoonists.

 

Take the drawing for Le Bourgeois Campagnard by Frédéric Soulie, the little man in carpet slippers, rake in hand, looking over his spectacles, could easily be one of the droves of commuters in New Jersey or Westchester measuring the sprouts in his own garden against those in his neighbors'. If one replaces the topper by a felt or straw hat in another illustration, one has a man of the twentieth century sitting with his wife on the ridge of a hill gazing out upon rolling fields and turning over in his mind - even as you and I - whether or not life in the country would be as peaceful as this one afternoon of an excursion from town.

 

Historically these little vignettes are of an importance that is out of all proportion to their size, as can be seen by any one who has looked into the origins of the contemporary revival of the woodcut in France. The modern movement owes its impulse to Lepère, probably, more than to any other one or many men, and as has been pointed out, he found much of the inspiration for his technical innovations in the woodcuts, which Daumier designed in the late thirties of the last century.

 

It is even believed by a few who are acquainted with the material that nothing done on the wood since the days of Dürer and Holbein is of greater merit, or possessed of stronger lasting qualities. That such an opinion should be possible only goes again to show that the nineteenth century still remains the least known of all centuries in the world of prints.

(end of quote)

(from: The Woodcuts of Daumier by Margaret H. Daniels, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 21, No. 1, Jan., 1926, pp. 16-19)

 

 

We would like to add some details about the technique applied in Daumier’s wood engravings, which might be of interest to the collector of Daumier wood engravings:

 

Daumier supplied the drawings on paper, which were then engraved by wood engraving specialists like Maurand, Verden and others. Note the closeness of a wood engraving to the crayon drawing - compare the "look" of the engravings to the "look" of Daumier's lithographs. All of Daumier’s wood engravings are registered in the Daumier Register (www.daumier-register.org) from DR5001 to DR6116.

 

Wood engraving was one of the favored techniques of the 19th century reproductive printmakers. These engravers possessed a formidable ability, which would make wood engravings look like ink-wash drawings or, as in the two examples by Maurand and Verden, like lithographic drawings.

 

Many of the wood engravings made for illustration in the later 19th century were not printed from the original wood block but rather from electrotypes. An electrotype is an exact duplicate of the wood block produced by electrolysis, a technique invented in 1839. The wood engravings that appeared in the “Illustration” or the later “Charivari” were produced with this system.

 

 

 

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RUE TRANSNONAIN as seen by André Gill and Daumier and in a PRIVATE DAUMIER EXHIBITION

 

André Gill (17 October 1840—1 May 1885) was a French caricaturist and fellow artist to Daumier. Born Louis-Alexandre Gosset de Guînes in Paris, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He adopted the pseudonym André Gill in homage to his hero, James Gillray. Gill began illustrating for “Le Journal Amusant”. He became however known for his work with the weekly four-sheet newspaper “La Lune” (from 1865 to 1868) edited by Francis Polo, in which he drew portraits for a series entitled “The Man of the Day”. After “La Lune” was banned, he worked for the periodical “L'Éclipse” from 1868 to 1876, as well as for “Le Charivari”.(Wikipedia 2009).

 

Daumier had numerous encounters with Gill, strongly advising him against becoming a caricaturist and to avoid being involved in the daily production of prints for the papers. Gill did not heed his advice and besides the above newspapers, he also became involved as a contributing artist for “La Lune Rousse”. On February 18, 1877, he did a disarming, mocking caricature of Daumier’s famous “Rue Transnonain” (DR135). The historic facts of this famous massacre can be read in www.daumier-register.org under the information given for DR135.

 

In his lithograph André Gill paid tribute to Daumier. In his own style he repeated the theme some 40 years after Daumier’s original work was published. Gill’s mechanically reproduced coloured pen lithograph, measuring like Transonain about 50 x 35 cm, shows Gill’s signature and the handwritten note: “cher maître Daumier”. The sword, which killed the man, reads “loi de 68” and the handle depicts the face of Napoléon III (with close similarities to Ratapoil, the King’s agent provocateur) responsible for the censorship laws introduced during that period. History is repeating itself.

 

 

GILL

 

 

DAUMIER

 

We are happy to inform you that we are exhibiting both works in collaboration with www.daumiergallery.com together with a large number of other Daumier lithographs in a special exhibition. Should you travel to Switzerland, please do not miss the opportunity to contact us or www.daumiergallery.com and make an appointment for a private viewing of this interesting Daumier exhibition.

 

 

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6 WOOD ENGRAVINGS RE-DISCOVERED

 

Six Daumier wood engravings never registered in a work catalogue!

(Illustrations at the end of the article)

 

Beaumont Newhall (1908-1993) was an influential curator, art historian, writer and photographer. He worked at the MOMA from 1937 on and eventually became the first director of its photographic department. In 1938 he had the opportunity to see the private collection of Daumier wood engravings owned by Russell Allen, Boston, who later on was to become one of the main contributors to the collection of Daumier prints of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Thanks to Mr. Newhall’s research from 1938, which we found by coincidence at the Frick Library in New York, we are now able to make his findings available to the Daumier community. His discoveries of six unpublished Daumier wood engravings are now included in the Daumier Register under the numbers DR6090, DR6112 to DR6116. Please read here below what Mr. Newhall says about these charming wood engravings he found in the collection of Mr. Allen:

 

“Mr. W. G. Russell Allen of Boston owns twenty-two such proofs on India paper; on one of them is lightly penciled "Bon a tirer-H.D." They are india paper, only a few inches square, and are pasted on three mounts-two of which are quite obviously pages from a scrap-book, while the third is more recent. Each of the vignettes mounted on the older pages is numbered-on the first page from 116 to 122, on the second page from 217 to 224.

 

Sixteen of the proofs appear in Eugene Bouvy's Daumier, l'oeuvre gravé du maître (Paris, 1933) as numbers 384, 386, 388, 394-6, 398-401, 403, 414, 563, 620bis and 753. [see DR5405, DR5407, DR5409, DR5415-5417, DR5419-5422, DR5424, DR5435, DR5599, DR5657, DR5824]. The remaining six are not included in this great two-volume catalog, which is based not only on the earlier catalogs by Rümann (Munich, 1914), Fuchs (Munich, 1917), and Dimier (Paris 1931), but also on the author's life-long study of the subject.

 

Furthermore, while the majority of the sixteen catalogued proofs in Mr. Allen's collection are marked with notations of the place of their publication in addition to the consecutive numbering, not one of the six un-catalogued proofs has any such definite indication. The only notation referring to them is the sentence (not in Daumier's hand) beside Fig. 5: "Vendu à M. Philippon" [the editor of Charivari].

 

It is not improbable, then, that the blocks were never used, and the only impressions taken from them may be the very proofs published with Mr. Allen's courteous permission for the first time in 1938 by Beaumont Newhall. The presumption can, of course, never be proved; it can only be disproved. What is certain, however, is apparent to all: some of these drawings represent Daumier at his best, and belong with his recorded work. The boy carrying his chum pick-a-back [DR6112] is a lively little sketch, while the tiny picture of a ragpicker [DR6113] is a splendid example of Daumier's remarkable economy of line.

 

They are fully characteristic of the majority of the illustrations which he made for the Physiologies series; while they cannot be numbered among his masterpieces, and while they lack that force and strength and biting satire which we have come to associate with Daumier's greatest work, yet they are full of charm, vivacity and evidence of his keen observation. They bear out Baudelaire's comment: "Nobody knew as he knew and loved (in the way artists do) the bourgeois, that last vestige of the Middle Ages, that Gothic ruin with so hardy a life, that type at once banal and eccentric. Daumier lived intimately with him, spied upon him day and night, learned the mysteries of his hearth, got on friendly terms with his wife and his children, knew the form of his nose and the way his head was constructed, knew the spirit which made the home live from top to bottom."

 

(from “Daumier Vignettes” by Beaumont Newhall.

Parnassus, Vol. 10, No. 5 (Oct., 1938), pp. 12-13+32)

 

DR6090

 

DR6112

 

DR6113

 

DR6114

 

DR6115

 

DR6116

 

 

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DAUMIER IN CHINA

 

 

A delightful new website has just come out by a private collector, Dr. Pei-Yuan Han: www.daumierinchina.com

 

The website shows dedication and great admiration of the author towards Daumier and his series "En Chine". Being of Chinese background, Dr. Han had the original idea to complement the captions of each Daumier print with his own explanations by continuing with a fictitious conversation, giving thus more complete background information to each print.

 

A wonderful addition to the many special events of the Daumier Year 2008!

 

 

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NEW BOOK ON DAUMIER by Ségolène Le Men

 

 

„Daumier et la Caricature“, by Ségolène Le Men, Ed. Citadelles & Mazenod, Oaris, ISBN 978 2 85 088270 8. In French.

 

Ms. Ségolène Le Men, professor of Art History and eminent Daumier scholar at the Paris X-Nanterre University, published her latest book, “Daumier et la Caricature” in November 2008 - probably the last big contribution to round up the Daumier year celebrations of his 200th birthday.

 

The book shows an approach to professional reproductive photography of a quality rarely seen in biographies of this kind. Professor Le Men had access to some of the best and unique Daumier lithographs and wood engravings from the collections at the Museum of Saint-Denis as well as the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. The photographs presented in this book are in perfect congruence with a profoundly researched and well-presented text. The book leads the reader through Daumier’s life by walking him through each of the important series which appeared in La Caricature, Le Charivari, Le Boulevard etc. covering the artist’s entire active period of some fifty years of work.

 

Historical and political parallels are being drawn beyond observations of the purely artistic evaluation of the series presented, making this publication an exceptional source of information. The book also appeared in the right moment when one considers that similar books by Lejeune, Ray, Escholier and others are dating back some 40 years. Le Men’s new book in updated contents as well as in presentation certainly is a most welcome addition to Daumier bibliography and a “must” for all Daumier friends.

 

 

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HONORÉ DAUMIERS WELT. Grosse Ausstellung in Pfäffikon (Schweiz)

 

 

Eine der bedeutendsten Ausstellungen anlässlich des 200. Geburtstages von Daumier findet vom 23.11.2008 - 15.02.2009 in Pfäffikon bei Zürich statt:

Seedamm Kulturzentrum

Gwattstrasse 14

CH 8808 Pfäffikon (SZ)

www.seedamm-kultur.ch

(Öffnungszeiten: Di – So, 10 – 17 Uhr. Mo geschlossen).

 

Das Seedamm Kulturzentrum hat es sich zur Aufgabe gemacht, bedeutende Kunst aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart dem Publikum näher zu bringen. Dieses Jahr werden in der Daumier Ausstellung Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Skulpturen, Lithographien und Holzschnitte, aber auch ein besonders seltener Holzstock und Lithographie-Stein ausgestellt. Unter den Zeichnungen wird man Unikate entdecken, die über mehr als 100 Jahre als verschollen galten. Bei den Lithographien kann der Besucher Exemplare sehen, die als einzigartig bezeichnet werden können. Sie erlauben einen Einblick in jene Blätter, die von Staatsbeamten handschriftlich zensuriert worden waren, und die heute von grösster Seltenheit sind. Unter den Skulpturen erblickt man den aggressiven "Ratapoil", Daumiers wohl bedeutendste Skulptur, sowie diverse Bronze-Köpfe. Ausserdem wird eine von zwei weltweit noch vorhandenen Louis XIV-Skulpturen zu sehen sein, die der Daumier Forschung auch heute noch Kopfzerbrechen bereitet.

 

Dem Gastkurator Daniel Bolsinger ist es gelungen, eine ganz aussergewöhnliche Schau von Seltenheiten zusammen zu stellen. Besonders zu bemerken ist dabei, dass das Kulturzentrum Pfäffikon zum ersten Mal vollkommen neue Wege in der Darstellung des Kataloges einschlägt, die unter Umständen wegweisend für ähnliche museale Ausstellungen sein könnten. Man verzichtete auf den üblichen Ausstellungs-Katalog und bietet statt dessen eine DVD an, die die Exponate im Detail erklärt und einen Zugang zu den einzelnen Hintegrundinformationen über das Internet ermöglicht. Darüber hinaus wurde das bekannte Daumier Buch von Dr. Jürg Albrecht überarbeitet und ist nunmehr ein Teil dieser DVD. Letztlich zeigt der Kurator in einer kurzen Dartsellung den Entstehungsweg einer Lithographie als einfache Videoproduktion, die bereits in der Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris gezeigt wurde und das Publikum faszinierte.

 

Pfäffikons Nähe zu Zürich und seine romantische Lage am Zürichsee wird einen Besuch in diesem Kulturzentrum zu einem interessanten Erlebnis machen und viele Daumier Freunde aus ganz Europa in die Schweiz bringen.

 

 

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SO LONG, MONSIEUR DAUMIER, IT'S BEEN A WONDERFUL YEAR

 

 

A new blog on Daumier has been started on the Internet under the link

dalihouse.blogsome.com/category/daumier/

looking back on the activities of the Daumier Year and more importantly on Daumier the man and the artist. The author is describing the locations where Daumier spent his life and the important stations of his artistic life. A very interesting and well researched article written by an admirer of Daumier's work.

 

 

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DIETMAR LIEBSCH DRUCKT DAUMIER LITHOS

 

 

Eine interessante Daumier Jubiläums-Ausstellung findet derzeit in Berlin statt:

 

"Die Zeitung in der Künstlerkarikatur von Honoré Daumier", Museum für Kommunikation, Leipziger Str. 16, 10117 Berlin (27.06. – 31.08.2008).

 

Sehen Sie HIER ein Video, das Ihnen nicht nur die Ausstellung nahebringt, sondern auch die Lithographie-Drucktechnik vorführt. Der Berliner Lithograph DIETMAR LIEBSCH druckt von seinen eigenen Daumier (Nachdruck-) Steinen Lithographien (die natürlich als "Nachdrucke" gekennzeichnet werden). Dies tut er sogar sonntags im Museum. So wird man in Daumiers Zeit zurückversetzt und kann zusehen, wie eine Lithographie entsteht.

 

 

 

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DISCOVERY OF A DAUMIER DRAWING ON A WOODBLOCK FROM 1868

 

 

Occasionally we find some rather unusual pieces of Art. While under normal circumstances the more general findings are simply being added to the Internet version of the database, we sometimes feel that an unusual discovery merits a special section in the Daumier News.

 

This time we invite you to look at the wood engravings DR 6029 and 6032.

 

 

(DR 6029 - Wood engraving)

 

 

(DR 6032 - Wood engraving)

 

 

During the Daumier exhibition at the Kunsthaus in Zurich earlier this year we noticed a chalk drawing on whitewash (catalogue p. 76/77) entitled “Au Bal Masqué ” . What surprised us was the fact that the drawing was executed on a woodblock which would commonly be used for a wood engraving.

 

 

(6029 - Drawing)

 

The woodblock in Zurich shows au verso the usual stamps by Kieszling, the supplier of such wooden blocks for Daumier’s xylographic work (numbered B 284 Paris). These pieces would eventually be turned over to a woodcutter; after having been engraved they would be used for printing and publication in Le Monde Illustré. The engraving process of course would then have destroyed the original drawing.

 

In 2003 we were able to find the original engraved woodblock in Paris, which was used to publish the 1868 version on newsprint. The original wooden plates were bolted together and in good condition.

 

 

(6029 - Woodblock)

 

The Daumier Register furthermore owns a print on Japan and one on China paper which had been reprinted in 1920 by Meynial using again the same wood block.

 

 

(DR 6029 - Meynial reprint)

 

 

To understand better what Meynial did, see here our article on Meynial).

 

As one can see neither the prints on Japan or China paper nor the newsprint versions show any damage in the woodblock. Most likely Daumier had depicted the original drawing on the woodblock in early 1868 to be published in Le Monde Illustré on February 22, 1868.

 

When looking at the Zurich drawing, this obvious question comes to mind: why would Daumier have done a drawing on an expensive Kieszling woodblock, if it hadn't been used for engraving and subsequent printing? Logic suggests that there may have existed two separate woodblocks, of which only one was used for printing.

 

Could it be plausible that Daumier had done the same identical drawings twice? Alternatively, could it be true that one of the drawings might be the copy of the other? We think that both possibilities are not convincing.

 

Over a period of more than 100 years the Zurich drawing, now in a Swiss private collection, had belonged to the famous Rouart Collection (1833-1912) and had repeatedly been shown at various exhibitions. A detailed examination indicated certain small, hardly visible irregularities: a thin line on the right hand side of the thigh of the man sitting, as well as another vertical line, which would suggest that the woodblocks had been detached. This could mean that the two segments had ‘loosened’ or separated.

 

We would think that the damage must have happened during the time period between the execution of the drawing and the beginning of the actual engraving work. Experience shows that it just takes a few days of high humidity and heat to make the woodblock crack. Once this had happened the editor possibly had asked one of his artists to transfer the drawing from the damaged woodblock onto a new Kieszling block (this was standard procedure at that time with woodblocks as well as with lithographic stones).

 

After the drawing had been transferred to the new woodblock the engraver, in this case Etienne, started his work, resulting in the well known newspaper publication from the same years (1868) and a reprint from the same woodblock on Japan and China paper in 1920 by Meynial.

 

By coincidence we have recently found another of these ‚damaged’ drawings on woodblock, this time DR 6032.

 

 

(Front-view of the drawing on woodblock)

 

 

(Verso of drawing on woodblock)

 

In this case a clearly visible scratch as well as a crack au verso has forced the editor like in the case described above to have the original drawing by Daumier transferred on a new woodblock. The original Kieszling woodblock had been (as always) screwed and bolted together with two long bolts; again the cracking was too serious to allow for the block to be engraved and used for printing.

 

These two drawings on wood are extremely uncommon and a testimony for the difficulties printers had to face during that period.

 

It may well be that there exists a third drawing on a damaged woodblock. This piece was shown at the 1878 Durand-Ruel retrospective in Paris. In the catalogue printed for the exhibition this drawing was registered under ”Le Déjeuner au Salon”, dessin sur bois, nr. 237. The former owner was M.A. Petit. Unfortunately we are not aware about the present location of this drawing and we are not even certain that it still exists. Bruce Laughton (‘H. Daumier’, Yale U.P. 1996. p. 151) mentioned it in his book. However we are not sure that he had physically seen the work.

 

The two remaining drawings on wood seem to be the only ones presently still available and occasionally shown on exhibition. They both belong to two different Swiss collectors. DR 6032 will be presented for the first time from Nov. 23, 2008 - Feb. 15, 2009 at the great Daumier Exhibition in the Seedamm Kulturzentrum in Pfäffikon (near Zurich). Any Daumier amateur who has a chance to see this unique piece - together with a select number of paintings, drawings, bronzes and prints - should not hesitate to mark this date in his calendar.

 

 

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ENTDECKUNG EINER DAUMIER ZEICHNUNG AUF HOLZ AUS DEM JAHR 1868

 

 

Bei der Arbeit am Daumier Register gibt es gelegentlich Zufälle, die es wert sind, die erarbeiteten Informationen nicht wie üblich kommentarlos dem Register hinzuzufügen, sondern aufgrund ihrer Bedeutung in Form einer separaten Mitteilung wie dieser allen Daumierfreunden gesondert zugängig machen.

 

Es geht um die bekannten Holzschnitte DR 6029 und 6032

 

 

(DR 6029 - Holzschnitt)

 

 

(DR 6032 - Holzschnitt)

 

 

 

Dieses Jahr bemerkten wir in der Daumier-Ausstellung des Kunsthauses Zürich eine lavierte Kreidezeichnung auf Holz mit weisser Grundierung (Katalog S. 76/77) mit dem Titel "Au Bal Masqué". Auffallend, und für eine lavierte Kreidezeichnung von Daumier einmalig, war, dass sie auf einem Original-Holzstock gearbeitet war, der eigentlich zum Drucken hätte benutzt werden sollen (DR6029).

 

 

(6029 - Zeichnung)

 

Dank der Mithilfe der Kunsthauses Zürich konnten wir feststellen, dass es sich um einen aus mehreren Teilen bestehenden Holzstock handelte, der auf der Rückseite den Prägestempel von Kieszling zeigte, dem Pariser Lieferanten für Buchsbaum Holzstöcke. Üblicherweise zeichnete Daumier seine Darstellung direkt auf diese gestempelten (punziert) und nummerierten (hier mit B 284 Paris) Holzplatten. Diese wurde anschliessend vom Holzschneider graviert, um sie dann in Zeitungen wie Le Monde Illustré zu veröffentlichen. Bei diesem Vorgang ging die Zeichnung durch die Schneideabeiten verloren.

 

Im Jahre 2003 gelang es uns, in Paris den Original-Holzstock dieser Darstellung auffindig zu machen, von dem seinerzeit im Jahr 1868 die Zeitungsversion gedruckt worden war.

 

 

(6029 - Holzstock)

 

Darüber hinaus haben wir in unserer eigenen Sammlung von dieser Darstellung je einen Druck auf Japan und China Papier, welcher im Jahre 1920 von demselben Originalholzstock von Meynial nachgedruckt worden war.

 

 

(DR 6029 - Meynial Nachdruck)

 

 

(Eine Einführung in die Thematik der Meynial Drucke, siehe hier unseren Artikel ).

 

Weder in der Version des "Monde Illustré", noch in jener auf Japan- und Chinapapier oder auf dem Originalholzstock sind Risse im Holz erkennbar, die in den Drucken sichtbar geworden wären. Die Zeichnung wurde wahrscheinlich anfangs1868 von Daumier auf dem Holzstock entworfen; der Druck in "Le Monde Illustré" erfolgte am 22. Februar 1868, und die Nachdrucke auf Japan- und Chinapapier folgten im Jahre 1920. Wir sahen die verschraubten Druckplatten noch wie erwähnt im Jahre 2003, und sie waren einwandfrei.

 

Betrachtet man jetzt die Zürcher Zeichnung, so stellt sich die Frage, aus welchem Grund Daumier auf einem Original Kieszling Holzstock eine Zeichnung entworfen haben sollte, welche anschliessend nicht sofort vom Graveur, in diesem Fall Etienne, bearbeitet wurde.

Es müsste daher wohl logischerweise zwei Holzstöcke mit identischen Darstellungen gegeben haben, wobei nur einer als Basis für die Drucke diente, während der zweite als Zeichnung bestehen blieb.

 

Wäre es denkbar, dass Daumier zweimal eine identische Zeichnung hergestellt hätte? Oder handelte es sich möglicherweise bei der Zeichnung um eine Kopie?

 

Die sich heute in Schweizer Privatbesitz befindende Zeichnung wurde in den vergangenen 140 Jahren mehrfach ausgestellt und stammt ursprünglich aus der bekannten Sammlung Rouart (1833-1912). Eine Untersuchung zeigte keine zeichnerischen Unterschiede zum Druck; wir entdeckten aber folgende Unregelmässigkeiten in der Zeichnung: am rechten Oberschenkel des Mannes ist eine feine Linie zu erkennen, die wie ein Haarriss im Holzsstock aussieht.

Ein weiterer Riss bzw. eine schlecht angepasst vertikale Fuge erkennt man in der Mitte der Darstellung. Ein Hinweis darauf, dass die beiden Holzplatten, aus denen der Stock besteht, schlecht zusammengeschraubt waren bzw, dass das Holz „gearbeitet hatte“ und sich die Blöcke voneinander gelöst hatten.

 

Es ist anzunehmen, dass diese Holzfehler in der Zeit zwischen dem Entstehen der Holzzeichnung und der Gravierung entstanden sein könnten. Der Editeur hatte daraufhin entweder Daumier selber oder einen seiner künstlerischen Mitarbeiter beauftragt, auf Basis des beschädigten Holzstocks die fertige Zeichnung abzupausen und auf einen neuen, unberührten Kieszling Holzstock zu übertragen (ein Vorgang, der bei Druckplatten aus Holz aber auch bei Lithographiesteinen in dieser Zeit durchaus üblich war).

 

Nach dem Übertrag der Zeichnung auf einen neuen Druckstock, wurde dieser dem Holzschneider zur Bearbeitung übergeben. Es entstanden die bekannten Zeitungsdrucke im selben Jahr (1868) und perfekte Nachdrucke von diesem Stock auf China und Japan Papier im Jahr 1920.

 

Durch Zufall haben wir soeben zum zweiten Mal einen identischen Fall erlebt, und zwar bei DR 6032.

 

 

(Vorderansicht der Zeichnung auf Holzstock)

 

 

(Rückseite der Zeichnung auf Holzstock)

 

Bei diesem Holzstock lief ein Riss (Kratzer) quer durch die Darstellung, sodass der Drucker diesen Stock, auch von Kieszling punziert und nummeriert, unmöglich benutzen konnte. Darüber hinaus hatten sich bei der Zeichnung zwei der vier verschraubten und verklebten Holzsegmente von einander gelöst, was im endgültigen Druck nicht sichtbar ist. Folglich dürfte auch hier ein Übertrag auf einen neuen Holzstock mit anschliessendem Holzschnitt durch Etienne stattgefunden haben.

 

Die beiden erwähnten Holzstockzeichnungen sind ungewöhnliche und besonders seltene Beweise für die Schwierigkeiten, mit denen die Drucker des 19. Jahrhunderts bei ihrer Arbeit konfrontiert waren.

 

Es ist durchaus möglich, dass noch eine dritte Zeichnung dieser Art auf einem ‚beschädigten’ Druckstock existiert. Sie wurde in der Daumier Retrospektive von 1878 bei Durand-Ruel in Paris ausgestellt. Im Katalog figuriert sie unter dem Titel ‚Le Déjeuner au Salon’, dessin sur bois, Nummer 237. Der damalige Besitzer war M.A. Petit. Bedauerlicherweise ist uns der Verbleib dieser Zeichnung nicht bekannt. Bruce Laughton (‘H. Daumier’, Yale U.P. 1996. p. 151) erwähnte sie im Jahre 1996 zum letzten Mal, ohne sie jedoch gesehen zu haben.

 

In jedem Fall sind diese beiden bisher einzig bekannten noch existierenden Holzstöcke als äusserst selten zu bewerten und in ihrer Art einmalig. Beide Exemplare befinden sich in der Schweiz und werden gelegentlich bei Daumier Ausstellungen der Öffentlichkeit gezeigt. DR 6032 wird vom 23. Nov. 2008 bis 15. Feb. 2009 an der grossen Daumier Ausstellung des Seedamm - Kulturzentrums in Pfäffikon (bei Zürich) zu sehen sein. Ein Termin, den man sich im Kalender eintragen sollte!

 

 

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DAUMIER IN PARIS - AN EXHIBITION NOT TO BE MISSED!

 

 

One of the most significant exhibitions during Daumier's bicentennial is presently taking place in Paris:

 

Bibliothèque nationale de France, site Richelieu, 58 rue Richelieu, Paris 2e. (March 4 to June 9, 2008.)

 

Visitors will have an extraordinary occasion to admire 220 of the most significant prints by Daumier out of more than 4000 lithographs held by the BnF. Some of them are unique, carrying handwritten comments by Daumier and have not been shown publicly for decades. An extraordinary exhibition, which we can highly recommend. An excellent catalogue with great photography and a poster are being offered.

 

At the same time, a parallel exhibition at the BnF is comparing Daumier to modern caricaturists:

 

"Daumier et ses héritiers", Bibliothèque nationale de France, site François-Mitterand/Allée Julien Cain, Paris. (March 4 to May 4, 2008.)

 

A great occasion to visit Paris in the Spring !

 

 

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NEW DAUMIER BOOK - A RECOMMENDATION

 

 

There are coffee table books, there are research books difficult to digest for mortals without a PhD in art history, and there are those few and rare highly informative and well researched books on Daumier which offer in-depth information and non repetitive, or little known background research with just a few pictures.

 

Recently, a new book appeared on the market by Michel Melot, Art historian and former director at the Bibliothèque publique d’information at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, who still holds numerous important positions in French cultural life. The book’s title is:

 

DAUMIER, L’Art et la République, ISBN 978-2-251-44339-3, published by Les Belles Lettres/Archimbaud, Paris 2008

 

It guides the Daumier amateur through new aspects of the rather unsuccessful 1878 Drouot exhibition, provocatively calling the first section of his book ‘Comment Daumier devint un inconnu’, a question certainly worth researching. The second section describes Daumier’s career from the early beginning up to his time at the ‘Boulevard’, again a fascinating and in many aspects new research. The third and final section deals with Daumier’s life as a celebrity, especially the period after his death and his acceptance beyond the borders of France.

 

To read such a fresh and in-depth publication about Daumier and his oeuvre is unusual and we would like to highly recommended it to all Daumier friends, be they collectors, Museum curators or University teachers. In this moment there exists only one caveat: you need to be able to read French. An English or German translation in this moment is unfortunately not yet available.

 

 

 

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CALL FOR PAPERS

"Law and Humanities" journal invites submissions for a special edition to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Daumier's birth. Topics to be covered will include Daumier as he relates to: law and the visual image; caricature and satire; France and the civil code; French legal history; art and freedom of expression.

Contributions from researchers and lawyers interested to publish in this journal are kindly asked to contact:

 

Felicity Howlett

Hart Publishing Ltd

16C Worcester Place

Oxford OX1 2JW

 

Telephone: 01865 517530

Fax: 01865 510710

Email: felicity@hartpub.co.uk <mailto:felicity@hartpub.co.uk>

Web: hartpub.co.uk

 

 

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RATAPOIL - AN INTERNATIONAL STUDY

(Photo Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 2004)

 

A group of researchers from fields as far apart as Art History, Sculptural Restoration, Computer Tomography and Nuclear Analysis joined forces in 2004 in order to find answers to some basic questions concerning Daumier’s RATAPOIL sculpture, which have been occupying collectors and curators for years: For what reason do two obviously different versions of Ratapoil plasters exist, and what does the “inner life” of each plaster tell us about their origin and possible change over time?

 

The “Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen” of 2004 (Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin) published the relevant findings (in German only) in their annual edition on pages 249 – 283 under the title

„Honoré Daumiers RATAPOIL und die Untersuchungen der beiden Gipsexemplare”. The authors responsible for the study were: J. de Caso, University of California Berkeley; B. Maaz, Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin; E. Papet, Musée d’Orsay, Paris; A. Badde, Sculpt. Restoration Berlin; A. Cascio, Sculpt. Restoration, Paris; B. Illerhaus, BAM Berlin; D. Kushel, Buffalo State College.

 

The outcome is an extensive, photographically documented report of greatest interest to Daumier amateurs and researchers alike, and especially to the proud owners of one of the 55 (plus 2) original Ratapoil bronze sculptures. Unfortunately, there are only very few printed copies of this report available, which can however be purchased using following information: Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, Neue Folge 46, 2004, Gebr. Mann Verlag Berlin 2005

Informationen: ISBN 3-7861-2405-1 and ISSN 0075.

 

The first section of the report covers the historical, well-known background, acknowledging the initial existence of only one unbaked clay model, which served as basis for the later plaster model(s) and consequently their bronze reproductions. It was agreed that the complexity of the plaster models indicated that Daumier may probably have been assisted by an experienced sculptor. Possible candidates would have been his sculptor friend A. Préault or, more likely, A.V. Geoffroy-Dechaume (as previously suggested by Gobin). It was he who had assisted Daumier already in 1850-1852 in creating plaster models of the “Fugitifs”.

 

The report notes on p. 254, footnote 22 (but this still needs further confirmation) that the original clay model may still have been part of the Henry Bing Collection in Paris about 1930, as mentioned in the MOMA exhibition catalogue and photographed as a bronze version. After that date no traces of the clay remained. If however Alexandre’s observations from 1888 are correct, Daumier, being aware of the fragility of the clay, may have decided as early as 1851 to have a plaster version done in order to preserve a more solid copy of his model. This first plaster can thus be considered an ‘original model’. It is consequently well possible that Bing owned a plaster, but most likely not the clay model.

 

The creation of the clay can with some certainty be dated around March 1851 (and not 1850 as suggested by Gobin and Cherpin) when Michelet saw it in Daumier's studio. After that it was hidden during the Napoleon III era (1852-1870) and only as late as 1878/79 did the first plaster appear in an exhibition. After Daumier’s death it was given to Geoffroy-Dechaume to be exhibited again in 1888 together with Dantan’s sculptures. In the same year Arsène Alexandre published a fotomechanical reproduction, an autotypie of a photography of the plaster in his Daumier biography. A first order for a bronze sculpture followed in 1890/91 from A. Dayot for the State Collection, now at the Orsay. For this purpose, Geoffroy-Dechaume’s plaster was transferred on April 17, 1891 to Jean Pouzadoux, a specialist in this field, who produced a plaster copy from the original Dechaume model. This second plaster would then be used as a basis for the bronze ordered with the Siot-Decauville foundry.

 

Up to 1891 it seems that Art Historians agreed on the existence of only one plaster. More recent findings however (Gobin in 1952 and others) suggest the existence of two plasters, strikingly similar and both of impeccable provenance. The authors went to great length in explaining that Pouzadoux’s plaster copy may have been preserved, thus representing the second plaster model. Both served as basis for the various later bronze editions. A number of questions immediately arise: is one plaster a copy of the other? Which was the first one? Which version was closest to the original clay modeled by Daumier himself?

 

Unfortunately both plasters had repeatedly been repaired and partially remodeled over time after having been used as models for the later bronze editions. Traces of this “treatment” are still clearly visible today.

The report also came to the conclusion that in all probability two Siot-Decauville bronzes (au sable) existed in the first edition: one sample from 1891 was ordered by the State and kept at the Orsay and a second one was delivered in 1896 to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, Daumier’s city of birth. An additional second edition of 20 pieces was produced by the same foundry in 1892. It seems unclear whether for this series the chef modèle was used or Pouzadoux’s second plaster.

.

The study group decided on the use of two different examination techniques: Computer Tomography as a three dimensional screening method for the research of the physical structure and of possible changes in the plasters, suggesting that future projects could eventually link each plaster to its respective bronze copy. Differences which had occurred during the molding / casting process could thus be made visible. This method was applied for the “Geneva version”.

The other technique used was Xeroradiography. It was applied for the second plaster, the "Buffalo version".

1)

The Geneva Version

This plaster is covered by an isolating protective wax coating applied by Valsuani´s prepatory work for his 1960 bronze edition (...). It has since

yellowed / darkened. Traces of the tools are still visible on the surface of the plaster. The entire plaster surface is covered by seamlines stemming from the casting process in a small-piece mold. Differences in surface levels of these sections suggest that the small-piece mold had been produced directly on the original clay model.

 

Images from Computed Tomography showed that the head, which was originally hollow, had been attached to the neck and chest with various metallic rods, which were encased in an initially moist plaster block. Once the block had dried up it served as a support to the head and the fragile neck sections. While most of the chest area is hollow, the legs, initially also shaped as empty hulls, were also supported with metal rods during the manufacturing process. They were inserted into an added, moist, plaster filling, which after some time dried up and gave the legs a rigid support. The walking stick (or cudgel) had accidentally broken off during previous handlings (about 1984) but was refitted. Various damages at the feet are still visible, possibly caused by Valsuani’s work or may have happened during transport.

 

2)

The Buffalo Version

This plaster served as the cast model (Giesserform) for the Siot-Decauville bronze sculptures. It is still occasionally assumed in the literature that the Buffalo plaster may be considered the model taken from the original clay. The plaster was purchased in 1954 in Paris for the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. This model had also been used by Rudier in 1929 for the edition of 20 samples, as noted by E. Fuchs in “Der Maler Daumier”. Both Rudier and Siot-Decauville were experts in the “au sable”-method , but not in the “lost wax” process. Yet, strange as it may seem, Ratapoil-sculptures produced by Rudier in the lost wax process do exist (e.g. Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt), a fact which has been confirmed by the author's own research (note by the Daumier Register: research showed that Rudier's "Louis XIV" for example was also done after the lost wax process; this for Rudier atypical work was presumably sub-contracted to another foundry).

 

The Buffalo plaster is covered with tan layers, heavily mottled (Schellack) and with varying deep brown stains. Like in the Geneva version, traces left behind by tools are clearly visible and numerous corrections and adjustments have been added to the plaster over the years. Some of the lines found are reminding of a textile imprint. The moustache/beard, a characteristic sign of recognition of Ratapoil’s physiognomy, has become less pointed, ‘heavier’ and shorter than in the Geneva version. The surface of the later bronze samples showed numerous changes and “softenings”. Xeroradiographic images revealed that entire sections of the legs and the beard had been removed, reconstructed and refitted. In total some twelve iron and steel rods were detected inside Ratapoil. The photography clearly shows the difference of material between the original structural support and the one added at a later date. A very large part of the figure has been “rearmed” at various occasions to ascertain its structural integrity.

 

When a plaster model is molded from the original unbaked clay model, the latter will customarily be destroyed. The new plaster model will show on its surface traces of seams. Because the surface of the Buffalo plaster has been worked over frequently, hardly any of these seams are visible. Only one small seam can be seen, which is also visible in the same position on the Geneva model. Thus a final proof of the Buffalo plaster being the original mold from Daumier’s clay model is no longer possible (contrary to Wasserman’s opinion).

 

 

Conclusion

 

The report comes to the following result: The Geneva version with its numerous small sections must have been molded on a ‘flexible’ material and can certainly not be considered a surmoulage from a previous plaster. The

Geneva version cannot definitely be considered a surmoulage from a previous plaster, as the numerous small sections of the mold in which the plaster was cast were possibly formed directly on a `flexible´ material, i.e. unbaked clay.

 

The surface of the Buffalo version has unfortunately been reworked repeatedly at so many occasions that it is impossible to confirm that it was molded from the original clay.

 

When comparing the plasters to the various bronze editions one will observe that some details from the original Siot-Decauville version, which showed up in the Buffalo plaster, had disappeared in the Rudier bronzes of 1929. (This observation differs with Wasserman’s on p. 169) The 15 Valsuani bronzes produced in 1960 from the Geneva plaster still show these details initially visible in the 1890 version. It seems that the cleaner and relatively untouched surface of the Geneva version may indeed reproduce / represent Daumier’s original clay design.

 

Assuming that both plasters have initially been molded from the identical base/mold would it be safe to assume that both plasters had initially been cast in the same mold? Further research into Geoffroy-Dechaume’s oeuvre may possibly answer this question. There is however no doubt that both plaster figures have been modeled with great craftsmanship and expertise and have served as models for later bronze editions.

 

Finally it should be pointed out that the Museum’s report not only supplies in-depth information going far beyond the above observations , but shows also some highly interesting and ‘revealing’ photography.

 

 

We also wish to remind all Daumier amateurs that the Kunsthaus in Zürich, Switzerland, starting on December 7, 2007 will open an exciting Daumier bicentennial exhibition, where the Geneva Ratapoil will be exhibited. The lithographic counterparts of this statue can also be seen, as well as a large selection of drawings and a rare lithographic stone.

 

 

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INTERNET PRESENCE OF THE DAUMIER REGISTER IN THE GERMAN PROMETHEUS DATABASE

We are proud to announce that the PROMETHEUS Archive (http://www.prometheus-bildarchiv.de/) has integrated the complete Daumier Register database into their system. This way all the Daumier lithographs and wood engravings which we described and illustrated in our online work catalogue will be accessible also through PROMETHEUS.

 

PROMETHEUS is a database hosting presently 406'000 images from 37 databases of cultural background aiming at research and studies. The institution is strictly non-commercial and offers access to now 27 universities and another 44 institutions as well as 5'500 private users, covering most of the art history and archaeological institutions in the German speaking area. The integrated databases originate from university institutes, museums, research institutes and private archives. PROMETHEUS offers tools for the use of images in presentations and lectures.

 

We are very happy about the Daumier Register's presence in this important platform, reaching an ever increasing number of art researchers.

 

 

 

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AUFTRITT VOM DAUMIER REGISTER IN DER PROMETHEUS DATENBANK

Mit grosser Befriedigung geben wir bekannt, dass das PROMETHEUS Bildarchiv (http://www.prometheus-bildarchiv.de/) die gesamte Daumier Register Datenbank in ihr System integriert hat. Es werden somit sämtliche Daumier Lithographien und Daumier Holzschnitte, die wir in unserem digitalen Werkverzeichnis beschrieben und abgebildet haben, auch über die Prometheus Datenbank einsehbar sein.

 

PROMETHEUS ist eine Datenbank, in der derzeit 37 kulturwissenschaftliche Datenbanken mit 406.000 Bildern für Forschung und Lehre unter einer gemeinsamen Oberfläche erschlossen sind. Prometheus ist strikt nicht-kommerziell und bietet derzeit allen Mitgliedern von 27 Universitäten und weiteren 44 Instituten direkten Zugriff auf das Bildarchiv. Daneben haben über 5.500 Nutzer persönlichen Zugang zur Datenbank, die zur Zeit bereits fast alle kunsthistorischen und archäologischen Institute im deutschsprachigen Raum abgedeckt! Die integrierten Datenbanken stammen von Universitätsinstituten, Forschungseinrichtungen, Museen und privaten Archiven. PROMETHEUS ist eine Plattform für den Austausch und den virtuellen Zusammenschluss von kulturhistorischen Bilddatenbanken und bietet Hilfen für die Verwendung der Bilder beispielsweise in Form der Speicherung von Suchergebnissen und durch Werkzeuge für die Präsentation im Unterricht.

 

Es freut uns sehr, dass das Daumier Register auf diese Art eine noch grössere Verbreitung erfährt!

 

 

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ALL STONES ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS...

It is a strange architect who uses lithographic stones to pave the ground of a home. If it is even an ardent Daumier collector and art dealer, one wonders even more. Yet this is exactly what happened in the 1940s. The collector was the father of J. Frapier who had owned a certain number of stones which were hidden during the German occupation until 1945 in his house in Royan, France. They were later used for construction work at his villa and thus disappeared...

 

This story (told by Roger Passeron in his 1968 Blois exhibition catalogue on page 11) and the fact that we had found only very few remaining lithographic stones by Daumier enticed us to look into this fascinating medium and working tool. After all, of the approx. 4000 lithographs done by Daumier there ought to be plenty of stones around. We started looking.

 

Over a period of 8 years we were able to locate only about twenty stones of which the largest collection, 14 stones attributed to Daumier, were originally at the Musée Cantini in Marseille and were now supposed to be at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Marseille. Two of them were shown in a Daumier exhibition in 1947 together with an old lithographic press. To our knowledge, only two stones are presently in private collections, while the remaining four are spread in museums such as Boston, Bibliothèque Nationale, Hammer Collection etc.

 

On December 20, 2007 we were informed by the curator of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Marseille that indeed the 14 stones mentioned by Cherpin were not part of the Museum’s collection, nor did they belong to the Musée Cantini in Marseille. He believes that these stones were in 1947 most likely part of a private collection and they may have been lent on exhibition during the period described by Cherpin. We are presently trying to collect more information about the whereabouts of these 14 stones.

 

An article in the 1948 edition of ‘Art et Livres de Provence’, Marseille, p.155/156 describes with some consternation that several of the 14 stones of the Cantini Museum showed remarkable differences in text or printer’s address to the final print published in the Charivari. It seemed difficult to ascertain the reason for these differences and so far the Museum has not found a satisfactory answer to this question.

 

Let us review for a moment the practice of Daumier’s printing process.

 

1) Daumier drew directly on the stone. The stone was then hand-delivered to the editor/printer.

2) The printer added a text (which was composed by a journalist). A few prints on “papier mince” were done, one of which was sent for approval to the censor’s office.

3) After approval by the censor, one or two prints were done separately on “papier Chine” for special collectors (with or without text), who cherished the highest printing quality available.

4) In case the editor considered to later use the stone for an album or for single prints, an unknown but relatively small number of prints was done on wove paper (sur blanc) and put aside.

5) Finally the stone was used to print those lithographs which were to appear in the Charivari newspaper.

6) Once the printing process was finished, the drawing on the lithographic stone was erased by hand so the stone could be used again for a new lithograph. In the course of this process, the stones lost their thickness over time from initially some 10 cm to about 3 cm until they became too thin and risked to break. They were finally discarded. This explains why hardly any of the original stones carrying the original image produced by Daumier are left at the present time.

 

 

We suspect however that between points 4 and 5 there may have been a step which possibly has been overlooked so far. It has to do with the number of prints executed from the stone:

 

a) We know from the information contained in www.daumier.org that the Charivari during its heyday averaged a daily output of more than 2000 papers.

 

--> It would indeed seem strange to assume that the same lithographic stone was used for printing on papier mince, papier chine, sur blanc as well as for newsprint.

 

b) The editor, Mr. Aubert, would only know AFTER the appearance of a print in his newspaper whether the lithograph was successful with the public. Popular lithographs were reprinted on a better quality paper (wove paper) sur blanc on single sheets and/or sold in albums to collectors at a high price.

 

--> After having used the stone for 2000 or more newsprints, the lithographic stone must have shown signs of wear and loss of printing quality. It would therefore hardly seem plausible that the printer would have used the same used-up stone for a high quality print on wove paper to be sold in an expensive album.

 

We therefore must assume - and this was confirmed by several printing specialists we recently contacted - that the ‘original stone’ was marked on the side with a colour code for later identification and set aside in a depot right from the beginning as a reserve for an eventual use at a later date.

 

Since the early 19th century printers had developed ways to produce copies from an original lithographic stone. The system, described in detail by. F. Brunner in his "Handbook of Graphic Reproduction Processes" was called transfer stone or autographic stone. A sheet of rubber, special transfer-paper or even animal skin was prepared in such a way that a copy could be made from the ‘original stone’ and transferred onto a second ‘autographic stone’.

 

The pressure of a daily newspaper production process must have been the reason for a certain negligence in the details. Differences in size of the print which appeared on the two stones as well as a certain loss in print quality seemed to be almost unavoidable. This is clearly visible when comparing the stone with a sur blanc print and a Charivari print of the same lithograph. It occurred that sometimes parts of the address on the newspaper print (located underneath the image) looked faded or slightly “squashed”, a typical result of the use of a transfer stone.

 

 

Going back to the observations of the Musée Cantini mentioned above, the answer now seems evident: The editor/printer Aubert may have lent (against a fee) the original stone to another printer who wanted to use the image to produce a separate album on wove paper. Naturally he would have replaced Aubert's address with his own; he may also have changed parts of the caption to fit his purpose.

 

The above explanations show how important it is to carefully evaluate various criteria of a lithographic stone offered on the art market. Is it the original or an "autographic stone"? Or could it even be a recent copy that has been used to do a modern reprint? In our opinion an old autographic stone should still be considered a collectors item, although it is not an original (like the mother-stone).

 

The age of a print on a lithographic stone should be examined. Nowadays an experienced lithographer can easily transfer an old Daumier print as an (almost) identical image onto an old lithographic stone (German: Umdruckverfahren). Some of the quality will possibly get lost and some details may appear “squashed”. For demonstration purposes such an experiment was done by Dr. J. Albrecht in his publication for the 1996 Daumier Exhibition in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. (p. 28/29) where he did a (clearly marked) reprint of DR 763 from a transfer stone.

 

Obviously, the price difference between originals (mother stones) and copy stones (autographic stones) is remarkable. An original Daumier lithographic stone must be considered being as rare as a drawing by Daumier, since that is exactly what it represents. Depending on the importance or beauty of the subject it can easily reach a six figure price level. The last sale of one of these stones we were able to trace back was sold for 40’000 Swiss Francs in the 1960’s at an auction (equivalent at that time’s exchange rate to about 10’000 US $). An autographic stone however is just a reprint on a stone from the same period, which has been transferred by use of a carrier such as a transfer paper. As shown above, such a stone should no longer be considered an original. Lately a number of stones were sold for about 160 $ a piece by an auction house in the Netherlands. The price level seems to suggest that they may have been autographic stones.

 

SOME ADVICE

 

Original lithographic stones by Daumier are as close as one can possibly get to see, touch and understand Daumier’s lithographic oeuvre. It will be in the collector’s interest however to ascertain that a stone which is offered meets the criteria described above. Besides establishing the age of the stone (which can be a rather harmful process) one should carefully examine the printing result and pay attention to eventual differences in size, depth and appearance between the drawing on the stone and the finished print versions on newspaper and sur blanc. Often the newspaper version will show loss of details still found on the sur blanc version. If the sur blanc print is identical with the stone image, chances are good that this is the “mother stone” (which was reserved especially for sur blanc prints). If it were an autographic stone, one would most likely be able to see the losses in detail which had occurred during the transfer.

 

Other aspects of importance are the grain of the stone, the origin and quality of the printing colour used, the provenance (going as far back as possible in the history of the stone) to name just a few.

 

As so often in Daumier’s oeuvre one can assume that fakes would be done from attractive themes such as lawyers, doctors, genre-scenes, which would sell easily. This holds true for lithographs but also for stones. Therefore one should be careful if such stones are being offered; they might have been produced recently with the intention of making modern reprints of popular themes. Political scenes or more general, unattractive topics however would hardly entice a forger to spend time and effort, since such stones would be rather difficult to sell.

 

Thus most of the stones found in museums can with very few exceptions be considered thematically ‘coincidental’, as they should be.

 

In case of doubt, the opinion of an expert might shed some light. An experienced printer who is still familiar with working on an old lithographic printing press may be of great help. We have been very fortunate to have found several who proved to be extremely knowledgeable in this matter. These printers look at the stones with the eye of an artisan/craftsman rather than an art historian and they have a practical way of tackling the problem. Another expert could be an art historian or a curator who could explain the possible historic traps.

 

In any case, the old recommendation is valid here too: Buyer beware!

 

Maybe Mr. Frapier knew exactly what he was doing when using his lithographic stones for flooring...?

 

 

DR 3247 - Illustration of a lithographic "motherstone" (Private Collection)

 

 

Lithograph by Bourdet, Charivari August 6, 1835 showing lithographic stones. Photo with kind permission by Pierre E., Bordeaux, collector.

 

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DAUMIER - DU RIRE AUX ARMES 1848-1870 (en français)

Press release by

Le Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Saint-Denis

-----------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Afin de célébrer le deuxième centenaire de la naissance d’Honoré Daumier, le musée d’art et d’histoire de Saint-Denis, riche de près de 4 000 lithographies de l’artiste, a décidé de lui rendre hommage. L’exposition accompagnant cette commémoration privilégiera une période particulière de son existence, celle qui va de la Révolution de 1848 à la guerre de 1870, et un des thèmes récurrents de son œuvre, le divertissement, sous toutes ses formes théâtrales ou musicales. L’ensemble sera replacé dans l’effervescence d’un Paris point de mire et but de voyage du monde entier, mais néanmoins sous la coupe permanente d’une censure impitoyable.

Avec la collaboration d’autres institutions publiques, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Bibliothèque des Arts du spectacle, Bibliothèque de la Comédie Française, Bibliothèque de l’Opéra national de Paris, et Musée d’Orsay, le musée de Saint-Denis pourra ainsi évoquer l’actualité qui inspira Daumier, telle la naissance du vedettariat avec Rachel au théâtre, ou Ernesta Grisi à l’opéra sur fond d’opposition entre musiciens français (de Berlioz à Bizet) et italiens (de Rossini à Verdi), sans oublier les divertissements populaires, musique et bal. On y rencontrera aussi l’engouement pour certaines formes musicales importées, sur lesquelles planera l’image de la Lola de Valence de Manet, ou bien encore l’apparition de nouveaux divertissements qui nous amèneront à évoquer l’incontournable figure, autant admirée que vilipendée, d’Offenbach.

La réunion de cet ensemble d’œuvres de techniques variées, puisqu’entre les images se glisseront les costumes et les accessoires qui furent alors portés, permettra de juger de l’allusion ou de l’illusion comique derrière laquelle se profilent bien souvent les armes et les larmes de l’Histoire. Elle nous permettra aussi probablement de connaître un peu mieux Honoré Daumier, ses relations et ses distractions… lorsque la pierre lithographique lui laissait quelque liberté.

 

 

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LOUIS XIV - A MISSING DAUMIER SCULPTURE REDISCOVERED

 

 

Most Daumier collectors and scholars are familiar with the busts created after clay models, which Daumier originally shaped in the 1830s. These unique pieces, now restored and displayed in the Orsay in Paris, served as the basis for various limited bronze versions which were done around the middle of the 20th century by Rudier, Valsuani and other foundries.

 

However, not many collectors are aware of the fact that Daumier also did a large clay bust of LOUIS XIV. Wasserman, Lecomte, Gobin, Cherpin and other Daumier scholars commented on this original, of which some very few bronze samples were molded.

 

It might be interesting to examine the time schedule and history of this extraordinary sculpture.

 

According to the 1985 Aulnay exhibition catalogue, Daumier does the Louis XIV clay in 1839/40 (terre crue recouverte de gomme laque)

In 1905 the clay version is discovered at a Jesuit convent/church in the Passy area, France (confirmed by the MOMA New York correspondence supplied by Balzac Galleries)

RUDIER buys the sculpture (according to the Museum of Modern Art in New York)

RUDIER has a plaster copy done from the clay.

RUDIER makes two bronze copies for himself (MOMA/Aulnay)

According to Aulnay, the clay’s ownership by Rudier is first mentioned in 1927

The clay is mentioned again by André Suares in his book ‘Marsiho’ 1931 (p.124) & 1933 (p. 174-181)

G. GRAPPE buys the plaster copy and asks Rudier to produce two bronzes (the same as above?)

DIETERLE purchases the plaster copy from Grappe

1930 the Museum of Modern Art in New York shows a photo of the plaster and one of the bronzes. The bronze was on loan from Balzac Galleries, N.Y, insured for 10’000 $

1957 LeGarrec in Paris exhibits the plaster copy

LONCLE in Paris buys the plaster copy from Dieterle

VALSUANI produces a total of 10 bronze sculptures 1959/60 (?) based on the Loncle plaster

· 8 of the 10 bronzes show the Valsuani stamp and are numbered 1/8 to 8/8

· 2 of the 10 bronzes are stamped EE1 and EE2 .

This is confirmed in the 1985 Aulnay Catalogue

1959 Rudier sells the original clay version to Wildenstein Gallery in New York

1969 Wildenstein shows the clay sculpture to Wasserman at Harvard/Fogg

1969 - 1974 Wildenstein sells the clay to a collector. Present location unknown.

Exhibition of various Valsuani bronzes in Paris, Blois, Israel, Cambridge etc.

 

After many years had passed, in 2007 a bronze made from the original clay, owned by Rudier, appeared from a private collection in the USA. It differs significantly from the Valsuani copies in that it carries a numbering mark “N” as well as a signature “Daumier”. There are also small differences which are visible only on the photo published by Wasserman of the clay, but are missing in the photo of the plaster. An identical sculpture also showing the letter "N", this time however with the added remark "N°1" (the ° being underlined for "numéro") was recently identified at the Dallas Museum of Art. It seems to be reasonable to assume that both sculptures are the original two copies made by Rudier before 1927.

 

 

 

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CENSORSHIP - COMMENTED BY PHILIPON

It is a well known fact that censorship of the press during Daumier’s time was very rigid, and that Daumier was arrested for offending the Government by publishing prints in LA CARICTURE which drastically ridiculed the King and his Ministers. The owners as well as the artists of LA CARICATURE and later on also of the CHARIVARI were constantly pursued by the law, resulting in the example, shown below:

 

The censor, by instruction of the Ministry of the Interior (i.e. the Police), prohibited a print to be published in the CHARIVARI edition of November 4, 1835. The print had previously been presented to the authorities for acceptance, but the message of the prohibition came so late to the printer, that no replacement could be found.

 

Therefore the CHARIVARI decided not to show any lithograph at all, but instead published an explanatory note for the surprised subscriber (see photo below), who did not find the daily caricature on the third page of his newspaper as usual.

 

We hope you enjoy the ridiculing comment offered here by Philipon, who in writing sarcastic remarks demonstrates the feebleness of the censorship system.

 

 

Header of LE CHARIVARI edition of Nov.4, 1835

 

 

Philipon's explanatory text

 

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WOOD ENGRAVINGS IN THE DAUMIER REGISTER

Our new work catalogue for Daumier's wood engravings is online just in time for Daumier’s 199th birthday this February 2007. This means that in the DAUMIER REGISTER © you can now move freely between the more than 4'000 lithographs and the 1'000 wood-engravings. We have implemented the same set of search functions already known to users of the work catalogue for lithographs. We are sure that for many Daumier connoisseurs and collectors of Daumier lithographs the wood engravings are still a new and unknown field and it will be highly interesting to look through these highly expressive and often dramatic prints. It is our great hope that with the work catalogue for wood engravings these prints will receive a long overdue appreciation.

 

Our next step will now be the extremely challenging task of compiling information for the section about oil paintings as the new addition to the Daumier Register. This will keep us busy for a couple of years and we would be extremely grateful if owners of paintings - private or Museums - could contact us and supply information about their paintings.

 

As you are surely aware, our DAUMIER REGISTER © is a work of love (and we do love every moment of it). If you feel that the DAUMIER REGISTER © has helped you in your work or research, this may be the right moment to consider a small donation to the Register and help covering the ongoing software costs. Please contact us for details concerning check payment. Alternatively you could easily pay directly into our Paypal account (account name: info@daumier.org ). Any contribution is highly appreciated and we will be happy to add your name (if desired) to the list of sponsors on our website www.daumier.org .

 

We are looking forward to exciting years of work on Daumier's paintings ahead of us and we are thrilled about the numerous exhibitions which have been planned for Daumier's 200th birthday in 2008. We always appreciate receiving all your questions which reach us on a daily basis and we are delighted to work together with you and the entire Daumier community in the coming years.

 

Press this link to go directly to the DAUMIER REGISTER ©.

 

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WAHRE HELDEN? DAUMIER UND DIE ANTIKE

True heroes? Daumier and Antiquity

 

A very original Daumier exhibition will be taking place from April 26 to July 22, 2007 in Giessen, Germany. The place is the Antikenmuseum of the Justus Liebig University, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. The subject is a very humorous and unusual one: The students of the archaeological faculty are contrasting the historical objects and personalities displayed in the Museum to Daumier's caricatures from the series HISTOIRE ANCIENNE.

 

We are sure that this humorous approach to ancient history will give a very special touch to an otherwise serious subject!

 

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MAX LIEBERMANN UND DAUMIER (auf deutsch)

Ein Mitglied der Deutschen Daumier Gesellschaft (www.daumiergesellschaft.de) hat uns freundlicherweise auf einen wichtigen Kommentar von Max Liebermann hingewiesen, in welchem dieser seine Einschätzung des Malers Daumier ausdrückt. Es handelt sich um den Artikel „Max Liebermann als Kunstsammler, die Entstehung seiner Sammlung und seine zeitgenössische Wirkung“ in: Forschungen und Berichte der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Band 15, 1973, Beitrag von Karl-Heinz Janda und Annegret Janda.

 

Auf Seite 111 des Artikel wird folgender Ausspruch Liebermanns, selber ein grosser Sammler von Daumiers Lithographien und Zeichnungen, wie folgt zitiert:

 

„Daumier ist ungeheuer!...Wo man ihn packen will, entschwindet er. Er ist als Maler und Zeichner und Lithograph über alle Massen gross. Ich habe mir eine Sammlung von ungefähr 3000 Lithographien angelegt. Er ist der größte Künstler des 19. Jahrhundert. Glauben Sie nicht? Was für Maler gibt es noch? Manet? Ja! Aber Cézanne und van Gogh, wissen Sie, waren schon inkomplette Künstler. Sie haben mehr gewollt, als sie erreichen konnten. Und das bedeutet auch ein Urteil. Aber Daumier hat alles gekonnt, was er gewollt hat. Er ist das grosse Genie.“ (Jedlicka S. 41).

 

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PUBLICATIONS AND COPYRIGHT

You may be interested to hear that more and more book authors and magazine publishers are accessing the Daumier Register with the aim of finding suitable photographs among the 4'000 lithographs for reproduction in their publications. We are delighted to see this increase of interest and would like to encourage authors and publishers to continue using Daumier caricatures of any subject for publications.

 

Here again the Copyright conditions for the use of photographs from the Daumier Register:

 

Museums, Universities and not-for-profit organizations may use photographs for reproduction free of charge, after having received our written permission.

Commercial publishers and editors will have to pay a nominal copyright fee for reproduction. Please contact us and bear in mind that these fees will be used entirely to support the ongoing research of the Daumier Register.

 

To see a list of publications with reproductions from the Daumier Register, go to the section Illustrations and Copyright

 

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PROGRESS IN THE RESTORATION OF DAUMIER'S GRAVE

 

AUGUST 15, 2006

THE RESTORATION IS MAKING PROGRESS

We are happy to show you today the first photograph of the restored grave!

 

 

As you can see, Daumier's grave has been cleaned and restored thanks to the financial support of many institutions and collectors. The six pillars have been replaced with new ones and the chain is also new. The next step will be the incision of the text which will be executed exactly the same way as it was before the cleaning.

 

We will keep you informed about the further progress.

 

For more details on Daumier's grave and on how you can help support this project click here.

 

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AN ORIGINAL WOODBLOCK REDISCOVERED AFTER 144 YEARS.

 

 

We are delighted to inform the Daumier community that the Daumier Register has acquired the original woodblock, engraved by C. Maurand based on Daumier’s design for publication in “Le Monde Illustré” which appeared under the title:

 

Le Boulevard des Italiens. (Dessin de M. Daumier.)

Work catalogue numbers:

DR 6002

Rümann 869

Bouvy 923

 

Signatures:

lower right: C.MAURAND

lower left: h.Daumier

 

appeared:

Monde illustré 08.02.1862 i/ii

Meynial 1920 ii/ii

 

Front view

 

Detailed front view

 

Side view

 

Reverse side

 

Reverse side: label

 

Reverse side: stamp by "Le Monde Illustré"

 

Reverse side: stamp by "Kieszling, Paris"

 

 

LE MONDE ILLUSTRÉ.

This journal appeared on a weekly basis. Founded in 1856 it was sold also in 2 large annual volumes. Between 1863 and 1869 Daumier contributed 35 wood engravings to this journal; not in full size pages but still in rather large measurements. In the various years the following number of Daumier prints was published: 17 in 1862, 4 in 1863, 2 in 1862, 6 in 1867, 5 in 1868, and 1 in 1869. One needs also to add the smaller print which had appeared in “Paris guide” and was used here again in 1867 in connection with an advertisement. The beautiful “Fauteuils d’Orchestre” a print executed by the engraver Lepère after a water colour by Daumier als has to be added. This was shown at the great Daumier Exhibition at Galerie Durand-Ruel of 1878, arranged shortly before Daumier’ death.

 

According to Bouvy, five of those prints which had originally appeared in the ”Le Monde Illustré” were re-printed in 1865 in the “Le Journal Illustré”, a weekly paper in-folio, founded in 1864. Further 20 prints were published in the weekly “La Presse Illustrée”, a journal founded in 1860.

 

 

THE MEYNIAL EDITION.

Jules Meynial was the editor of the bi-weekly publication "La Presse Illustrée", which later appeared only once a week. The paper was founded in 1860. He succeeded in purchasing in the early 1900s some of the rare wood blocks used to print the wood engravings "after Daumier", which were published to illustrate the "Monde illustré".

 

In 1920 he used these blocks to edit a separate group of some 36 prints on Japan paper without text or number. He offered these prints under the title: “H. Daumier, tirage unique de trente-six bois". The print titled "Affreux macadam !" as well as the print which had appeared in “Paris Guide” were not used by Meynial, most likely because he did not find the wood blocks on the market. The entire set was completed by adding “Les Fauteuils d’Orchestre”, engraved after a Daumier painting, by Lepère, and by “Amateurs d’Estampes”, engraved by F.L. Schmied, after a watercolour from the Camondo collection in the Louvre.

As engravers we find Lepère, Étienne, Maurand, Peulot.

The collection of Meynial prints on Japan paper found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art carrying the collector's mark "FLS" also shows that each print was numbered in pencil. It seems the total edition of these Meynial prints may have amounted to 75. A separate edition of only 25 pieces was published on China paper.

 

It seems that Meynial’s successors must have sold the wood blocks some time between 1900 and now, since one occasionally finds single pieces on auction in France. The 36 blocks have not been kept together and are spread out in various collections all over the world. We have been able to locate about 50% of them. The wood block of DR 6002 today is part of the Noack Collection (the Daumier Register) in Switzerland.

 

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The Daumier Register more easily accessible.

 

The Daumier Register more easily accessible.

 

We are delighted to inform you that as of today, the access to the digital work catalogue (www.daumier-register.org) of Daumier’s 4000 lithographs, will be available WITHOUT REGISTRATION AND WITHOUT LOGIN. If you wish to enter this website you will from now on only need to click on the language of your choice and “you are in”! No more password or registration will be needed. The overwhelming interest in Daumier’s oeuvre generated by our site, made it administratively more feasible to simply remove the registration procedure.

 

We sincerely hope you will use the Daumier Register even more in the future.

 

* * *

 

Das Daumier Register - noch leichter zugänglich.

 

Wir freuen uns, Ihnen mitzuteilen, dass ab sofort der Zugang zum digitalen Daumier Werkverzeichnis (www.daumier-register.org), welches Daumier's gesamtes lithographisches Werk von 4'000 Lithographien beschreibt, OHNE REGISTRIERUNG UND OHNE LOGIN erfolgt. Wenn Sie von jetzt an dieses Verzeichnis konsultieren wollen, genügt es, die Fahne für die Sprachwahl anzuklicken, und "Sie sind drin!" Das überwältigende Interesse an Daumier's Werk, welches wir in unserer Website feststellen können, hat uns dazu bewogen, diese Registrierungs-Prozedur zu entfernen und so den Zugang noch mehr zu erleichtern.

 

Wir hoffen sehr, dass Sie in Zukunft das Daumier-Register noch häufiger benützen werden.

 

* * *

 

Le Daumier Register - encore plus facile à accéder.

 

Nous sommes heureux d'annoncer qu'à partir de ce moment le Daumier-Register, le catalogue raisonné digital (www.daumier-register.org) sera accessible SANS INSCRIPTION NI LOGIN. Il suffira de cliquer sur le drapeau pour le choix de la langue et "vous y êtes"! L'énorme intérêt dans l'œuvre de Daumier que nous pouvons constater dans notre site nous a convaincu de faciliter l'accès et d'enlever la procédure d'inscription.

 

Nous espérons que vous utiliserez encore plus souvent cette source de recherche.

 

 

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ABSINTH IN DAUMIERS WERK (auf deutsch)

 

 

Blaumacher und Kulturträger: Absinth, die "grüne Göttin"

Meine Geschichten - Von Klaus Geitel

 

Erstaunlicherweise ist das kostbarste aller Getränke selten gerühmt und besungen worden. Sogar die sonst alles Erdenkliche lauthals beschreiende Reklame ist ausgerechnet vor diesem Getränk verstummt. Es handelt sich um die Muttermilch. Ihr einziger Nachteil: Sie wird im Händchenumdrehen wieder vergessen. Sie weicht, gottergeben und widerstandslos, dem Wasser, dem Tee, dem Kaffee, dem Saft, dem Bier, dem Wein, dem Champagner. Dem Alkohol.

 

Alles schön und gut - wenn mit Maßen genossen. Dennoch wuchs sich ein alkoholisches Getränk namens Absinth im Verlauf der Jahrzehnte derart mörderisch aus, daß Frankreich es vor hundert Jahren per Gesetz vom Markt nahm. Man versoff davon 1912 inzwischen sage und schreibe knapp 122 Millionen Liter pro Jahr. Frankreich wollte aber seine Soldaten nicht betrunken in den Krieg torkeln sehen. Es verbot die angebetete "Grüne Göttin".

 

Der Absinth aber hatte sich längst schon zum Kulturträger ersten Ranges gemausert. Er eröffnete den Zugang zu den viel verheißenden "künstlichen Paradiesen", aus denen es sich allerdings allzu leicht in sehr reale Höllen hinabstürzen ließ. Diese Abstürze haben die großen Maler der Epoche immer erneut mit Pinsel-Inbrunst glorifiziert. Was den einen als "auf Flaschen gezogener Wahnsinn" erschien, galt anderen, wie Alfred Jarry, Schöpfer des "Ubu Roi", ohne Umschweif als "Heiliges Wasser". Er öffnete Champagnerflaschen mit Vorliebe, indem er ihnen mit der Pistole die Hälse zerschoß.

 

Charles Baudelaire schreibt in den Prosa-Gedichten des "Spleen von Paris" von einem Freund, der sich herzlich darum bemühte, einen Wald anzuzünden, nur um zu sehen, ob er wirklich so rasch niederbrenne, wie man behauptete. Zehnmal schlug sein Versuch fehl, beim elften Mal gelang er nur allzu gut. Für Oscar Wilde glich die Schönheit eines Glases voll Absinth der eines berauschenden Sonnenuntergangs.

 

Leider ging beim Trinken nicht einzig die Sonne unter. Der Alkoholgehalt im Absinth belief sich schließlich auf herausfordernde 72 Prozent. Viele Stationen auf diesem Weg zur Selbstvernichtung haben die bedeutenden Maler der Zeit festgehalten: von Manet und Degas zu Daumier, von Toulouse-Lautrec über Gauguin zu van Gogh und Picasso. Eine Parade der weltverlorenen Schreckensgestalten. Das vielleicht schauerlichste Bild aber lieferte wohl nicht die Malerei, sondern die Photographie. Sie zeigt den einsamen Verlaine, in die Sofaecke eines Cafés gekauert, die Augen zu Schlitzen verengt, vor sich auf dem Tisch ein hohes, randvolles Glas mit Absinth.

 

Auf jeden Fall war es vernünftiger, Absinthtrinker nur zu malen, statt sich bei ihnen einzureihen. Sie gefährdeten nicht einzig das eigene, sondern auch fremde Leben. Verlaine befand sich zweifellos im Absinth- und Eifersuchtsrausch, als er auf Arthur Rimbaud, den jungen Dichterfreund, losging und auf ihn schoß. Glücklicher- und hoffentlich auch ernüchternderweise traf er ihn bei drei Schüssen nur einmal und zwar ins Handgelenk. Nicht nur trinken, auch zielen will eben gelernt sein.

 

Aus der Berliner Morgenpost vom 10. Mai 2006

 

* * * * *

 

Die Suche im DAUMIER REGISTER nach Lithographien zum Thema "Absinth" ergab 3 Resultate:

DR 3255

DR 3256

DR 3357

 

 

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DR 3390 - A RARE LITHOGRAPH REDISCOVERED

 

Luck was on our side when we found DR 3390; but this print was at first quite enigmatic to us until we started analysing its printing process.

 

Below you will find two photographs of the print in two different states and printed in two different methods. You will also see detailed photographs of the monogram.

 

The first one shows the print in the 2nd state as appeared in the Journal Amusant in 1865: with the text, full title, monogram h.D. and stone number (lower left) as well as the name “Gillot” at the lower right margin. (The same print was again published in 1874 in the Petit Journal Pour Rire in the 3nd state.)

 

 

 

 

 

The second photograph shows a print without text. There is no stone number and no “Gillot” signature, only the monogram h.D. Although the print shows minor damages and water stains, the quality is nevertheless by far superior to the Gillot version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are obviously dealing with the same print, but while the first one is a gillotage, the second one can clearly be identified as a lithograph.

 

The gillotage printing system developed by GILLOT is a relief process where the drawing is transferred from the lithographic stone to a metal plate. It is then etched to create a relief plate. This process made it possible to produce large quantities of prints and was thus used for illustrations in newspapers. Unfortunately the quality was by far inferior to a lithograph and is missing the smooth and expressive lines, which we appreciate so much in lithography. To know, more about Gillot and his printing technique, see our detailed information on this website.

 

It is important to understand Daumier’s way of working: He first drew an image directly on the lithographic stone. The stone was then collected from his study and taken to the print shop where a “trial print” on thin paper was done to test the quality. Now, the text writer added his text either directly onto the print or on a slip of paper, which was glued on at the bottom of the thin lithographic print. Several examples of this can be seen in the Daumier Register, e.g. DR 3336.

 

In several cases, Daumier did not write his monogram and the stone number on the lithographic stone. Occasionally, the printer, while producing the gillotage, added Daumier’s missing monogram, the stone number and his own signature (Gillot sc) to the zinc plate. This done, the “mass-production” could begin.

 

The rare one or two lithographic trial prints on thin paper were filed with the printer for future reference. Today, only very few examples of these extremely rare trial print lithographs still exist. Some of them are at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York; a few are in private collections.

 

After these introductory explanations, let us look again at our two photographs. While the images in both versions are identical, there are a number of slight differences to be noted:

· The lithograph shows a small difference in paper measurements compared to the gillotage. Most likely the paper - which is not thin, but rather of a yellowish-brownish wove paper quality - has been cut short at the margins.

 

· The gillotage shows the monogram, a stone number as well as the Gillot signature., while the lithograph shows merely Daumier’s monogram. After having taken exact measures of the two monograms we found an interesting difference:

 

· The monogram on the lithograph has been placed 2 millimetres below the one visible in the gillotage (see detailed photograph).

 

· The background behind the monogram is “lightened up” as if someone had scratched out this space on the stone before adding the monogram (see detailed photograph).

 

 

Can this print be considered an original lithograph or is it a fake? Here are our thoughts and assumptions about what might have happened:

 

1) Daumier, as always, drew on the stone but in this case did not add his monogram and the stone number.

2) The usual copy on thin paper was printed and the text was added. This original lithographic trial print was most likely lost over time.

3) The printer now produced the zinc plate from the stone and added the missing monogram himself, as well as the stone number and the printer’s name to the metal plate before printing the gillotage.

4) Someone in the printing shop liked the print and did his own “private” lithograph copy on wove paper.

5) In order to “add value” to it, he decided to add the Daumier monogram (see under point 1: the monogram was missing on the lithographic stone).

6) Since the stone had already been coloured with black printer’s ink for the print on thin paper, he had to wipe/scratch off the ink at the place on the stone, where he wanted to add the monogram. This would explain the lighter shade on the monogram background.

7) Nobody noticed that such a “special” copy had been made. The stone was erased and could be used again for a new drawing.

 

Thus this print can be considered an original lithograph in a new state (with an added monogram). We assume it is one of a total of two prints which were made of DR 3390, of which the first one on thin paper had disappeared over time. The print shown here is most likely the only original lithograph of DR3390 still in existence.

 

We invite your comments about this fascinating print. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions.

 

 

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LA RENTRÉE - BACK TO SCHOOL: Slideshow

September 1, 2005

 

The new SLIDE SHOW is online on this website. Have a look at

LA RENTRÉE - BACK TO SCHOOL

 

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SUMMERTIME! A new slide show exhibition in this website.

August 13, 2005

 

The new SLIDE SHOW is online on this website. Have a look at it and enjoy the

SUMMERTIME !

 

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DAUMIER AND THE WOOD ENGRAVINGS BY MEYNIAL

 

July 28, 2005

 

As most Daumier collectors know, Daumier produced some 4000 lithographs and approximately 1000 wood engravings. The latter appeared mainly in newspapers such as Le Charivari, Le Monde Illustré and many others, as well as in book publications. Unknown to many, the editor and publisher Jules Meynial succeeded in purchasing some 34 original wood blocks. In 1920, well after the death of Daumier, he published with the help of the printer F.L. Schmied an album containing several folders. They displayed 34 large wood engravings which had previously appeared in Le Monde Illustré. He added 2 more wood engravings after watercolors by Daumier: the “Fauteuils d’Orchestre”, was originally presented in 1878 at the Galerie Durand-Ruel exhibition and the engraving was done by Lepère; “Les Amateurs d’Estampes” which is part of the Louvre collection, was engraved by Schmied. The only print missing in the Meynial collection which had previously appeared in “Le Monde Illustré” was “affreux macadam” (Bouvy 933).

 

In total 100 albums were produced, of which 25 numbered 1/25 to 25/25 on China paper (chine appliqué) and 75 numbered 1/75 to 75/75 on Japan paper. The China paper edition was offered to various museums and some few private collectors, while the 75 Japan paper edition was distributed to collectors at random.

 

The prints are before any text (avant la lettre) and the print quality is excellent. These prints can be considered as being extremely rare and will be rather difficult to find on the market, especially those on China paper. After the printing process, the wood blocks were “whitened” in order curtail any future reprints. As one will note in the photographs below, the woodblocks were supplied (and numbered) by Kieszling, a company with offices in 16, rue Charlemagne in Paris (ref. Remi Blachon, 2005) supplier of artists’ woodblocks.

 

For comparison we are showing here the following four photographs of DR 6033/EB 954:

 

 

Front of the original whitened wood block (from a Swiss private collection)

 

 

Verso of the same woodblock, showing the stamps of “Le Monde Illustré”, Kieszling and an export stamp of the Paris customs office

 

 

Print as it appeared in "Le Monde Illustré"

 

 

Print as published in the Meynial edition

.

 

 

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BOUVENNE’S COLOR MODELS: STILL ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS…. AND SOME ANSWERS

June 3, 2005

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the overwhelming response to the new DAUMIER REGISTER (www.daumier-register.org), the online catalogue raisonné on Daumier's lithographic work and we are very happy that so many collectors, curators and dealers as well as scholars are making use of the search functions offered.

 

In this context we were approached by a number of visitors who had seen our Daumier news of April 2005 where we were dealing with questions in connection with BOUVENNE "modèles". You may recall that H. Schrank of New York who owns one of the models from the Caricaturana Album had noticed that the colour proposals made by Bouvenne did not correspond to the final colour print version. The most apparent difference in Mr. Schrank's "modèle" is the green background whereas the background of the final version is yellow.

 

This observation had raised a number of questions and prompted us to pursue the matter further. At the same time and as a consequence of the new DAUMIER REGISTER (www.daumier-register.org) the online catalogue raisonné on Daumier's lithographic work, many collectors and dealers approached us to find out about the REAL value of Bouvenne "modèles". As described in the article mentioned before, we were able to trace a great number of Bouvenne "modèles" and compared them to the final versions of the prints. To our great surprise, not one of Bouvenne's colour proposals had an influence on Aubert's print version. In addition, we were unable to find any information about the "Grande Collection" of 1839 mentioned by Bouvenne on the margins of his "modèles".

 

Furthermore it seemed that it was quite impossible to find specific information about Edouard Bouvenne; was he a free-lance artist or aquarellist-craftsman or a printer in Aubert's publishing house. It should also be noted that Edouard Bouvenne’s name cannot be found in any art registry of 19th century artists, which seem to indicate that he was not an artist of importance during this period.

 

We found out that all of Bouvenne's "modèles" had been in a French private collection for a certain time before a print dealer in the U.K. started offering them to collectors and museums in Europe and the USA. The retail price depending on subject and condition of a "modèle" ranges between $1'500 and $2'500. To establish the real value of the "modèles" they might be compared to Daumier prints with handwritten annotations by the printer or the publisher. For example: the printer’s proofs, usually excellent prints on “papier mince” with the handwritten approval, date and signature of Aubert, Bauger, Junca etc. are being sold, depending on the subject and state of these cherished black and white prints, between $500 and $1000.

 

The Bouvenne "modèles" however are originally black and white prints from an “inferior” series (usually from the Caricaturana series), which have been coloured and annotated by a craftsman seemingly unknown as an artist.

 

Considering all these aspects, we feel that the value of a Bouvenne "modèle" can hardly match the value of a printer's proof but should rather be priced like a regular coloured print "on wove paper". Bouvenne's mysterious handwritten remarks on the margins of these prints may give the lithograph an interesting and decorative aspect, but they hardly justify an elevated price.

 

We hope this information is of help to you.

 

 

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CLAY FIGURES EXHIBITED AT MUSÉE D’ORSAY, PARIS

May 30, 2005

 

The drawings and lithographs, in which Honoré Daumier satirised the bourgeois monarchy of Louis Philippe, and above all its lawyers, are well known and still greatly enjoyed. Less widely known is a series of about 40 caricature busts which he made to a commission from Charles Philipon, who founded the satirical newspapers La Caricature and Charivari. They are modelled in unfired oil-painted clay, and it is perhaps surprising that 36 survive. They are being shown at the Musée d’Orsay until August 28, together with relevant lithographs. The subjects include his friends and family as well as deputés and aristocrats.

 

From: The Financial Times May 27, 2005

 

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BOUVENNE’S COLOR MODELS: MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS.

 

April 6, 2005

 

An interesting observation has been brought to our attention by Mr. H. Schrank of New York. He owns a "Modèle Bouvenne" of one of the prints from the Caricaturana Album and noticed that the final colored version used for the Album does not adhere to the color proposals of Bouvenne. The most apparent difference in Mr. Schrank's "modèle" is the green background whereas the background of the final version is yellow.

 

Edouard Bouvenne was an artist in Daumier's time who produced a number of “color models” or color proofs of certain prints, mainly from the Caricaturana series depicting the Robert Macaire theme. The assumption was that these “color proposals” would be used by the publisher to have the albums hand colored according to Bouvenne's suggestions. However, most of the color prints of which we have seen Bouvenne models differ considerably from Bouvenne's proposals. What might be the reason? Were Bouvenne's proposals really meant to be color proposals for the Aubert publishing house or did he pursue a different purpose? Commercially, it made little sense for Aubert to pay an artist for color suggestions without using them for the final print version.

 

Another question mark arises from the fact that Bouvenne wrote on the margins of his "models" annotations like: “Modèle de la Grande Collection de 1839 paru a 10 8bre 1838" (in the H. Schrank collection) and “ Modèle de la Grande Collection 1839, Paris, le 15 8bre, 1838.” (in the British Museum, London). We are not aware of a "Great Collection of 1839" as mentioned by him. It seems hardly logical that this is a collection prepared for Aubert to appear later in a colored album. Were the models commissioned by a collector to be shown in an exhibition in 1839? So far, we have not found the answer to this point, which will find its place among the other numerous open questions in Daumier's oeuvre.

 

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DON QUIJOTE EXHIBITION IN SPAIN

 

March 25, 2005

 

We are pleased to announce the opening of an important new exhibition, called: VISIONES DEL QUIJOTE. The exhibit covers in depth the view, understanding and appreciation of eight artists in the interpretation of well known Cervantes characters. The catalogue (in Spanish language) shows how Hogarth, Doré, DAUMIER, Picasso, Dali, Ponç, Matta, and Saura saw Quijote, covering a period of some three hundred years. Major museums from Europe and the United States have contributed by lending their significant collections. This important exhibition will certainly not fail to be an enormous success with the public.

 

Daumier, one of the most prolific artists in depicting the theme of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza, did 29 paintings and 49 drawings covering this subject. He is represented in this exhibit with the following works of art:

 

Don Quijote y Sancho Panza, 1865-1867, (Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, USA)

Don Quijote , n.d. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, Washington DC, USA)

Sancho Panza, Rest in the country (National Gallery of Art, Washington, Washington DC, USA)

Don Quijote y Sancho Panza, 1855, (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille, France)

Don Quijote y Sancho Panza, 1866-68, (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, USA)

Don Quijote y la mula muerta, ca. 1864, (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA)

Head of Don Quijote, ca 1870, (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands)

Don Quijote y Sancho Panza, 1864-1866, (Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany)

 

The exhibition will be open to the public between March 7 and June 12, 2005 at the prestigious Caixa Catalunya in Barcelona. Catalogue in Spanish, 209pp with numerous illustrations. After closing date, the exhibition will travel to Seville to be exhibited under the sponsorship of Caixa Catalunya Foundation at the Exhibitions Hall of Santa Inés.

 

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SMALL SIZE VERSIONS OF FOUR WELL-KNOWN DAUMIER PRINTS – A RARE FIND!

 

March 10, 2005

 

Today, we would like to draw your attention to four quite unusual Daumier prints. Most likely you are aware of the rare and beautiful prints, depicting the famous “July-Hero” (DR 23) or the notoriously cynical “White-washers” or “Laundrymen” (DR 39). Very few collectors, including the publishers Hazard or Delteil , realized that there still exist different prints, depicting the identical themes. Provost was the first one to note these rarities.

 

A reduced and inverted version of four prints - DR 18, 23, 24 and 39 shown below - appeared time wise independently from their larger “doubles” on December 15, 1832 in LE CHARIVARI. They were considerably smaller: the dimensions of these reduced prints were only around 65 x 70 mm. In some cases the text was slightly changed. At first sight, the smaller prints appear to be reduced copies of the larger ones. But in reality, they show distinct differences in many details. These are easily recognizable when comparing the two prints. It seems obvious that Daumier (or another artist ?) had been asked to redraw these four lithographs.

 

The CHARIVARI explained this repetition on page 2 of the same edition as follows:

“Les meilleures caricatures politiques qui aient paru depuis la révolution de juillet nous fourniront la matière d’une autre planche. Notre but, en résumant ainsi ce que s’est fait, est, nous l’avons dit, de donner à la collection du Charivari l’importance d’un recueil complet, et nous y parviendrons sans fatiguer ceux de nos abonnés pour qui ces résumés ne sont que la répétition de composition qu’ils connaissent déjà.“

 

It should be noted that these very early prints appeared during the very first month of the existence of the CHARIVARI. They must be considered extremely rare and will be difficult to find on the market. The paper quality of these first prints was by far superior to the later editions and can be compared to the quality used in LA CARICATURE. A noteworthy detail on the side: the Charivari at this period (i.e. in the first weeks of its existence) did not yet show the front-page vignette. An empty space marked its place. The editor announced to the subscribers that they would receive the missing vignettes to be pasted into the provided space as soon as the printer would make them available. Only after three weeks did the head vignette appear for the first time in the CHARIVARI and was subsequently changed several times in the following years. The first vignette done by Daumier has been registered under Bouvy N°1 and appeared on Nov.17,1833 in LE CHARIVARI.

 

 

 

DR 18

 

 

 

DR 23

 

 

 

DR 24

 

 

 

DR 39

 

 

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Call for Papers (en français)

 

March 7, 2005

 

L'Association canadienne d'études francophones du XIXe siècle (ACEF XIX) tiendra sa troisième réunion annuelle les 30 et 31 mai 2005, dans le cadre du Congrès des sciences humaines et sociales (University of Western Ontario, London). Un des quatre ateliers proposés cette année :

 

FORMES DE LA SATIRE, FORMES DE LA CONTESTATION : La refonte des genres littéraires qui se produit au XIXe siècle se voit en particulier dans les modifications des formes de la satire et de la contestation. La satire, forme poètique issue d'Horace et de Juvenal, écrite en vers se prolonge jusque chez Victor Hugo, voire Arthur Rimbaud. D'autres formes prendront peu à peu la place d'un genre qui est encore très présent sous la Restauration. Ce sont le pamphlet (Paul-Louis Courier), la physiologie (Balzac) et même le roman (Stendhal). La satire, forme littéraire avec un ensemble de topoi connus, se métamorphose au contact de la presse : articles plus violents, attaques ad hominem, caricatures (Philippon, Daumier), invective (L. Bloy). Une évolution se dessine d'une pratique de contestation consensuelle, voire rituelle, vers la polémique, la diatribe. L'atelier proposé envisage d'analyser l'évolution des formes que prend la contestation, de dégager les enjeux idéologiques de ces diverses formes.

 

 

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IMPORTANT DAUMIER COLLECTION FOR SALE.

 

February 1, 2005

 

Thanks to the close communication between the Daumier-Register and the readers of the Daumier website, we would like to inform you about a private collection of Daumier lithographs for which we have been asked to find a new owner. This is the first time for many years that such a rare occasion has come up.

 

The collection consists of almost all of the 4000 prints on newsprint, wove paper etc. Most of the important and rare prints are included. The collection has been professionally stored over a lifetime and the prints are generally in superb condition and are all matted.

It also includes various albums containing coloured lithographs, the complete bound volumes of “La Caricature”, as well as a complete set of the sculptures, figurines, heads, Ratapoil, etc.

 

Please note that the lithographs will only be offered “in one piece”. The same goes for the sculptures: they also will be offered only as an ensemble. The price for such a unique collection will of course be substantial and will have to be discussed in detail.

 

Please contact us only, if you are seriously interested and willing to invest an important sum in this unusual private collection. We kindly ask you to refrain from making offers for fractions of the collection.

 

 

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THE DAUMIER REGISTER - The countdown has started

 

January 26, 2005

 

We are glad to inform you that our work on the DAUMIER REGISTER ©, the new digital work catalogue on Daumier`s lithographic oeuvre, is finally approaching its final stage. We will shortly transfer the database to the computer wizards and hopefully, within the next 3-6 months the entire information will be accessible for you on the internet (well in time for Daumier`s 200th birthday in 2008 and the preparation of exhibitions for the DAUMIER YEAR).

 

Furthermore, after five years of intensive work, we have decided to make the complete English and German versions as well as a French standard version available FREE OF CHARGE TO EVERYONE, hoping that college and high-school students as well as their teachers will use this new tool in their art classes and that new and old collectors are being motivated to appreciate Daumier`s oeuvre even more.

 

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MOURLOT and Daumier Reprints.

 

December 26, 2004

 

Of the many fakes and reprints of Daumier lithographs on the market, the better quality reprints have been produced by the MOURLOT brothers. You can see here a section of DR 1169, reprinted by this company. In contrast to so many other copies, they clearly mentioned their name underneath the print, which is the ethically correct way of doing it, thus avoiding that their copies were being sold as original lithographs.

 

Jules Mourlot bought the old printers house of Bataille in 1914. After his death in 1921, the name of the company was changed to Mourlot Frères. The company had a reputation for good quality lithographic work. They published lithographs by Matisse, Picasso, Mirò, Chagall etc. The collaboration with the editor Tériade in 1937 saw the appearance of VERVE, one of the most important artistic publications of the period, resulting in beautiful prints by Mirò, Chagall, Braque made available to the public at reasonable prices. During this time, also some of the Daumier reprints were offered by Mourlot. While they cannot be considered “originals” they still are beautiful copies of an even more beautiful original.

 

 

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How rich or poor was Daumier?

 

November 13, 2004

 

(some not too serious observations about the costs of living in 19th century Paris)

 

Literature often mentions that Daumier was a relatively poor man, who followed Corot’s advice that an artists should always have debts in order to really be appreciated by his surrounding. This opinion has been well documented by Cherpin in his publication "Le dernier cahier de comptes de Daumier." Revue Municipal nr. 29 pp 34-38 and 40-41, Marseille Mai-Juillet 1956. This booklet shows Daumier’s handwritten expenses and shows also how much he received from Le Charivari for each print (see also B. Laughton "Honoré Daumier". Yale University Press, New Haven 1996).

 

Surprisingly, the amount of Francs Daumier received each month over a long period of his life when working for Le Charivari should have allowed him quite a comfortable life. You will find a list of some daily goods sold in Paris during that time. These prices have been either taken from Cherpin’s observation, or from the captions of Daumier’s own lithographs or, at a later stage directly from the advertisements published in Le Charivari.

 

Taking into account that Daumier, apart from his lithographs, also sold wood engravings as well as drawings and paintings during the later part of his life, it seems difficult to identify what Daumier did with his income. Maybe one day, a research paper will enlighten us all about the spending habits of Daumier. We might be able to find out why he ended up in financial difficulties and poverty despite of his fairly sufficient funds.

 

to access the information, click here

 

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LE CHARIVARI BELGE - Recent Research Results

 

October 1, 2004

 

Apart from the CHARIVARI in Paris there also existed a CHARIVARI BELGE, printed and edited in Brussels, Belgium, between May 16, 1838 and April 10, 1841. In the 1850’s it reappeared under the name: LE CHARIVARI – ÉDITION BELGE. The illustrations are by Félicien Rops and others. More than 40 prints by Daumier were also published in the CHARIVARI BELGE. Some of the numbers we were able to identify with the help of Gil Stora, Belgium : LD 520, 537, 579, 580, 749, 2140, 2143, 2144, 2145, 2146, 2147, 2148, 2149, 2152, 2154, 2155, 2156, 2157, 2158, 2159, 2160, 2161, 2162, 2163, 2164, 2165, 2166, 2167, 2168, 2169, 2171, 2185, 2186, 2190, 2201, 2235, 2246, 2300, 2367, 2373.

 

The French Charivari was carried over the border into Belgium. A local artist made copies of the illustrations on a virgin lithographic stone. The paper was then published a few days later. According to information by Gil Stora taken from Jacques Hellemans "Le Charivari Belge et Napoléon III " Le livre et l'estampe, XXXIX1993, N°139 Brussels, an artist by the name of Mangioni was, most probably, responsible for copying the prints from the French newspaper version onto the stone. Due to the copying process, the quality of the illustrations is somewhat crude compared to the French CHARIVARI prints (see the examples presented below).

 

Félicien Rops, the person responsible for the paper, had registered at the Academy of Art in Namur, Belgium. At the age of 18 he immatriculated at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (University of Brussels) where he moved in the intellectual, lampoonist and artistic circles of the time. He showed a talent as a fierce caricaturist in both the CHARIVARI BELGE and the “Uylenspiegel”, which he founded with Charles de Coster in 1856.

 

The way the original Charivari prints were transferred to Brussels seems to allow some thoughts for speculation. The fact remains that an original Charivari was transported to Brussels, where its editorial section was used without important changes, while the advertisement part was adjusted and specifically printed to satisfy the Belgian readership. You will notice an add for “fritures” in the section photographed below.

 

From a copyright angle it seems amazing that a local artist was asked by the management of the Charivari Belge to copy the original lithographic print from the Paris paper for the Belgian version. Daumier’s lithographs as well as prints by his colleagues Cham, Vernier etc. were thus regularly reproduced, even the monogram or signature of the respective artist was occasionally copied. We have not yet been able to confirm whether the editors of the Charivari Belge copied their French counterpart with full approval of the Paris editors ( M. Augustini), or whether we experience here an early case of copyright infringement. From a technical point of view it would have been quite easy for the French editor ( Aubert at that time) to produce a transfer lithograph from the original stone, which the Belgians could have used for reproduction, without going to the trouble of copying from a printed newspaper edition.

 

In the literature about the Charivari Belge it is frequently noted that the import of the Belgian version to France was strictly prohibited and samples of the paper confiscated by French authorities at the border. Could it be that the Belgian version, which was sold 2 to 3 times cheaper than the French edition, was sold clandestinely in the north-eastern provinces of France, thus damaging the subscription of the Paris Charivari in this region? An argument one encounters occasionally states that the French editor purposely sent lithographs of politically dangerous subjects to have them published in Belgium. It can hardly be supported, since most of the prints in the Belgian edition were entirely apolitical and had been published in France already five days earlier without having encountered any confrontation with the censorship office.

 

We must therefore assume that the Charivari Belge was most likely a non authorized edition. The Daumier lithographs cannot be considered being of the same “original” quality as the ones published in Paris. Similar to the technique of a wood engraving, a second artist copied and thereby re-interpreted the original drawing of the master. Consequently the Belgian “Daumiers” are inferior and not original, printed furthermore on thin low quality newspaper. However, in order to facilitate the information access for the Daumier collector, we have added a new state to the Daumier Register (the new digital work catalogue soon to be published), indicating specifically the Belgian version. We hope to help the inexperienced collector to more easily identify the copy from the original and we invite the museums to screen the above Delteil numbers in their collections.

 

It may be of interest to note that the Charivari Belge prints have become extremely rare and are quite difficult to find on the market, while the matching originals from the Paris version are still easily available.

 

 

 

 

 

LD 2201 - French Charivari

LD 2201 - Charivari Belge

 

 

LD 2154 - French Charivari

LD 2154 - Charivari Belge

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Tobu Museum Japan closed.

 

August 25, 2004

 

Another museum to fall victim to the Bubble, the Tobu Museum of Art at the Tobu Department Store in Ikebukuro, Japan, has shut its doors in 2003. But before it closed, the museum showed a series of extensive exhibits from its massive collection of 3'000 lithographs by 19th-century French caricaturist Honoré Daumier (1808-1878). Entitled "Honore Daumier Caricatures III-from the Tobu Collections," the exhibition presented some 150 of Daumier's lithographs from his later years, in which the aging artist gave vent to his anger at the fall of Napoleon III's Second Empire in the Franco-Prussian War and at the oppressive Catholic Church.

 

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The "Web Site of the Week"

 

August 17, 2004

 

From the website: CAFÉ METROPOLE PARIS on April 26, 2004

www.metropoleparis.com/2004/918/918cafe.html

 

QUOTE

"The Web Site of the Week

 

This item about Honoré Daumier is here instead of in the wasteland of the 'count–downs' because this famous cartoonist was born on Friday, 26. February 1808 in Marseille and he died, um, almost 71 years later on Friday, 3. January 1879 in Valmondois. As you can see there are no even numbers of 'years ago' here.

 

But Mayor Bertrand Delanoë will pay a visit at 15:00 to the Père Lachaise cemetery on Wednesday, 19. May, to assist with the cemetery's 200th anniversary.

 

This news comes from Lilian and Dieter Noack who have written to say that Daumier's sadly neglected plot in Père Lachaise has been cleaned up – the fallen tree was removed at last – even though the tombstone and the surrounding chain are still in a sorry state after 125 years. Lilian and Dieter hope the mayor will lend a hand with the Daumier grave restoration project.

The best time of year – greens are fresh and so is the warm sky.

 

Even if you are not directly concerned, you can still take a look at one of the most ambitious Web sites devoted to Honoré Daumier. It features reproductions of many rare prints seldom seen anywhere else. You can also see photos of the neglected grave in Père Lachaise."

 

UNQUOTE

 

Comment on the website: The metropoleparis website is a highly informative site and most useful when planning your next visit to Paris.

 

Comment on the grave: Unfortunately so far we have received no news from the mayor of Paris regarding the restoration of the grave. This means that we are continuing to collect funds from Daumier friends. Please have a look at the DAUMIER'S GRAVE section for more information and pictures, and THANK YOU for supporting us in this project!

 

 

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Third Class Carriage - A Treasure Unearthed!

 

July 19, 2004

 

To find a “lost” Daumier work doesn’t happen too often. We are therefore delighted to present here a remarkable drawing by Daumier. Over the last 50 years this important and published drawing has been declared as lost and was missing in all the major publications. By pure coincidence we “unearthed” this treasure.

 

 

 

As you can see from the photograph, this beautiful and quite large drawing (52x 86 cm) shows one of Daumier’s impressive scenes of “un wagon de troisième classe” (third class carriage). The artist used a thick black pencil on brownish tracing paper (papier calque). The drawing is unsigned and we may assume that Daumier used it for the artistic preparation of one of his three presently known paintings of this theme - most likely for the one owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The other two works can be seen today at the Baltimore Museum of Art and at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. A similar, but slightly different drawing, also executed on “papier calque”, belongs to the Clouzot Collection in Paris.

 

The paper shows some traces of folds and cuts due to its age (the drawing was done around 1863 – 1865). These flaws however have no impact on the artistic significance of the work. When looking at the drawing and the New York painting, a difference in size is striking: the canvas of the oil painting is some 13 cm larger than the drawing. The reason being that the drawing does not incorporate the roof of the carriage. Maison assumes ( K.E.M p.I-142/iv) that Daumier copied this drawing from his painting. This elaborate tracing was made without any “essential changes”, but on paper which was slightly smaller than the canvas.

 

The drawing shown here also served as a basis for the reverse drawing (inverse tracing) in the later Clouzot Collection ( K.E.M.II-300) . The “Clouzot-drawing” in turn was used as a basis for the oil painting, which is now at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

 

 

Provenance:

A. Vollard Collection, Paris

Paul Cassirer, Berlin-Johannesburg

Henri M. Petiet Collection, Paris

Private Collection Switzerland

 

Exposition:

Paris 1901, Beaux-Arts, N° 297

The Daumier Register,2004 Internet publication (www.daumier.org)

 

Bibliography:

K.E. Maison, vol II, p. 191, n° 299 and pl. 80

Mandel/Barzine Nr 215/2 p. 107 (declared “Lost” in 1971)

Daumier & Rouault, Accademia di Francia a Roma, Nov. 1983, p. 113 (declared “Lost”)

Bruce Laughton: Honoré Daumier. pp.109-116

Daumier Register ( the drawing will appear in the Daumier Register’s drawings section of the new work catalogue)

 

For further questions or details, please contact the Daumier Register at www.daumier.org or

dnoack@daumier.org

 

 

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“Daumier and Exoticism” (Satirizing the French and the Foreign). New book on the market!

 

July 6, 2004

 

An important book on Daumier has just appeared on the market. Surely not the coffee-table quality one so often finds in bookstores, but a publication which really should have been made available in 1989 when the author Elizabeth C. Childs researched its content to write her doctoral thesis at Columbia University. While her thesis was difficult to get by, the present book finally will be available to the ever growing flock of Daumier-amateurs.

 

The title of the book is: “Daumier and Exoticism” (Satirizing the French and the Foreign) by Elizabeth C. Childs, Peter Lang edition, New York (Hermeneutics of art; vol. 11) ISBN 0-8204-6945-9.

 

The book examines a central aspect in Daumier’s lithographic oeuvre which up to now was rarely touched by research: Daumier’s use of stereotypes examining racism and “foreigners”, not omitting the stout Germans nor the “exotic” British, the exuberant Haitian Emperor Soulouque or the Chinese and the Indians, last, but not least the Americans. She makes the reader aware of the kaleidoscope of Asian, north African and Middle Eastern impressions with which Daumier creates a mirror image of Parisian bourgeoisie - adroitly camouflaged behind exotic appearances.

 

Beyond the author’s professional background and extensive knowledge of art history, the reader is offered a chance to learn about the complexity of the French Governmental system and appreciate European “Machtpolitik” of the period between 1835 and 1865. As a side product we obtain detailed insight into women’s lib and repressed sexuality in a world dominated by bourgeois thinking.

 

This new publication on a highly fascinating sector of Daumier’s oeuvre – dealing also with his contemporaries – will represent a valuable addition to any Daumier library, whether private or institutional.

 

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Press On!

 

July 1, 2004

 

Daumier and Impressions of the 19th Century, A Glimpse Into Printmaking, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, New Haven CT

 

 

Honore Daumier was a political cartoonist before that term had been invented. A scurrilous puncturer of authority figures, he was jailed for his opinions, and inspired generations of artists, cartoonists and ashcan painters. This 1833 lithographs called Ah, so you would mess with the press.

Daumiers part of an exhibition of over 125 prints, from the collection of James Reed, hosted by the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts (84 Lyme St., Old Lyme, 860-434-5232) through Sept. 4.

 

Most of the artists arent as subversive or saucy as Daumier could get, but the exhibit, Impressions of the 19th Century, A Glimpse Into Printmaking: 1801-1900 , is a tribute to the power of the pen--and to the printing press, which made such urgent and topical artistic provocations possible.

 

There is an opening reception June 26 from 5-7 p.m. in the academys Chauncey Stillman Gallery.

 

 

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Réinventer un catalogue raisonné sur Internet : l’exemple de l’œuvre d’Honoré Daumier. Conférence Université de Lausanne (en français)

 

June 15, 2004

 

Université de Lausanne, Suisse, Faculté des Lettres, Section d'histoire de l'art, CH-1015 LAUSANNE

 

Conférence Histoire de l’art.

Dans le cadre du cours séminaire donné cette année par Philippe Kaenel

Gravure et communication visuelle au XIXe siècle et au XXe siècle

Mardi 15 juin 2004 à 9h, salle 3068

Lilian et Dieter Noack

 

Réinventer un catalogue raisonné sur Internet : l’exemple de l’œuvre d’Honoré Daumier

 

Le genre du catalogue raisonné est considéré dans le domaine de l’histoire de l’art comme l’outil le plus scientifique qui soit. Pourtant, bien des catalogues raisonnés, surtout dans le domaine de l’estampe, paraissent souvent «irraisonnés». Dieter et Lilian Noack se sont attaqués à l’œuvre immense d’Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), qui a déjà fait l’objet de plusieurs catalogues particuliers traitant de l’œuvre lithographique, xylographique, graphique, peint et sculpté. Mais la réalisation d’un catalogue raisonné sur Internet est une première dans l’histoire de la discipline. Comment imaginer et réaliser une entreprise de ce type dans ce médium de communication ? Quels sont les avantages ou les limites de la numérisation ? Pour quels publics ?

 

Les personnes intéressées sont invitées à consulter le site de D. et L. Noack : www. Daumier.org

La conférence se tiendra en anglais. Les interventions se dérouleront en français, en anglais ou en allemand.

 

 

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19th century „thumbnails“, a recent discovery from the MetMuseum.

 

May 27, 2004

 

We would like to share with you another finding from our Daumier treasure hunt. This one comes from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, one of over 100 great museums we are working with while establishing the DAUMIER REGISTER, the new digital work catalogue on Daumier’s lithographic oeuvre.

 

When visiting the print room of the Metropolitan Museum, we found this lithograph containing one sheet of prints from the Caricaturana series.

 

 

What was unusual about it is that these prints are tiny, each one measuring about 50 x50 mm, compared to the full sized 250x225 mm plates in the regular series. Furthermore, it should be noted that the series is not complete. It only shows a fraction of the 100 Macaires which appeared in the Caricaturana.

 

As you will note, the name of the printer given is Pobuda Rees & Cie, a name which would indicate a German (or British) address.

In the 1830ies and 40ies, Pobuda produced prints and books for the Stuttgarter Literatur Comptor. We are unable to confirm where this sheet was published. If anyone has more information about this sheet, please be so kind to contact us.

 

 

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DAUMIER & the CHARIVARI

 

May 19, 2004

 

Have you ever wondered where the name CHARIVARI comes from?

 

The word CHARIVARI can be traced back to the 17th century, when Italian artist A. CARACCI drew so-called “ritratti caricati”, absurd portraits and figures, literally translated: overloaded portraits. The Italian word “caricare” has its counterpart in the French word “charger” (engl. “load”). We can assume that the name CHARIVARI is based on these roots. Later, the word became part of the French language and had the meaning of loud and unmelodious cacophony.

 

An additional explanation for the word Charivari can be traced back to the Greek “Karebaria”, synonym for a bad headache caused by loud, disharmonic music from instruments, not necessarily of a musical background, such a pans, pots etc. Such “music” was presented as a serenade in the 18th century to elder men who married a young woman or vice versa.

 

In France citizens expressed their discontent about elected politicians around the beginning of the 19th century by serenading them with such infernal presentations. A beautiful example of such a performance can be found in Daumier’s print

LD App. 39.

 

 

Nowadays, a similar kind of Charivari-music is performed under the name of a “Guggemusik” during Carnival season in Basle, Switzerland. Some of these traditional “musical” groups are hundreds of years old and still carry the name Charivari today.

 

To read more about Daumier and his work for the Charivari, please go to the CHARIVARI section of this website.

 

 

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"Honoré Daumier - Aktueller denn je!" - Europäische Visionen (in German)

 

May 1, 2004

 

Ab Sonntag, dem 02.05.2004 veranstaltet die deutsche Honoré-Daumier-Gesellschaft aus Sammlerbeständen der Mitglieder in den Städtischen Museen Zittau die Ausstellung "Honoré Daumier - Aktueller denn je!" - Europäische Visionen, unter Beteiligung der Herren Büsen, Josche und Prochnow, alle langjährige Bewunderer von Daumiers vielseitigem Werk. Die Einführungsrede wird von T. Metzen gehalten, die wir hier mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Redners wiedergeben. Wir freuen uns sehr über diese Initiative und hoffen, dass es den Ausstellern gelingen wird, die immer wieder verblüffende Aktualität von Daumiers Schaffen dem Besucher zu vermitteln.

 

Einführung von T. Metzen.

 

Der französische Kulturwissenschaftler und Daumier-Kenner Michael Melot hatte gewisslich recht, als er behauptete, ein jeder mache sich sein eigenes Bild von dem Künstler Honoré Daumier. Er zog daraus den Schluss, dass nur die jeweiligen Vorstellungen über diesen Maler gesellschaftliche Wirkungskraft entfalten, nicht die historische Person Daumier.

 

Dieser Gedanke trifft auch und in besonderem Maße auf die Mitglieder der Honoré-Daumier-Gesellschaft zu, die diese Ausstellung zusammengetragen haben. Deshalb ‚Vorsicht‘, verehrte Leser, sie erhalten hier ein Bild von Daumier, das durch Engagement und Wertschätzung, durch Faszination und Leidenschaft geprägt ist.

 

Michael Melot konstatiert überdies eine für ihn unerklärliche Neigung der Deutschen zu Daumier: "Die Beschäftigung mit Daumier scheint eher eine deutsche als eine französische Tradition zu sein." Recht hat er. Wir Deutschen stellen nämlich mit großem Bedauern fest, wir haben leider keinen deutschen Daumier, also nehmen wir uns einfach den Daumier unseres westlichen Brudervolkes.

 

Es ist an dieser Stelle unmöglich, Daumier in der ganzen Breite seines Werkes zu würdigen, seine 4000 Lithografien und seine 1000 Holzstiche zu beschreiben, oder sich seinen Gemälden oder dem Korpus seiner Zeichnungen zu nähern.

 

Unser Vorhaben ist, die Bilder zu seiner Vision Europa zu zeigen. Der Europagedanke ist für die Menschen des 19. Jahrhunderts noch ein ferner Traum, aber die Probleme, die sich ergeben, wenn man sich auf eine solche unzeitgemäße Vision einlässt, die hat Honoré Daumier in unvergleichlicher Art und Weise ins Bild gesetzt.

 

Eine erste Konfrontation mit diesen Bildern löst unangenehme Gefühle aus: Es vermengt sich Erstaunen mit Entsetzen. Erstaunen darüber, wie unverändert aktuell diese Bilder sind und Betroffenheit und Bestürzung, wie wenig sich doch, was die Konfliktfelder in Europa angeht, in den letzten 150 Jahren geändert hat.

 

Die hier versammelten Bilder Daumiers geben Auskunft über die politischen Übel seiner Zeit – aber wirklich nur seiner Zeit? Da wären die Kunstfigur des allgegenwärtigen Robert Macaire als Sinnbild des skrupellosen Finanzgauners, die Befangenheit und Käuflichkeit der Justiz, die hemmungslose Korruption der politischen Führungscliquen, die Börsianer und Spekulanten mit ihren gezinkten Karten, die von den politischen Spitzen der Gesellschaft betriebene unverantwortliche Schürung nationaler Vorurteile, die nicht selten in die Vorverurteilung Fremder und Andersgläubiger umschlagen und nicht zuletzt die als Friedenssicherung getarnte aggressive Hochrüstungspolitik.

 

Die Folgen, die sich aus dieser gesellschaftskritischen Bestandsaufnahme ergeben, die sind für Daumier von unausweichlicher Natur: So schafft man keinen Frieden in Europa, sondern nur beste Voraussetzungen für nächste kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen.

 

Wir, die wir heute diese etwa 150 Jahre alten Blätter betrachten, wissen kaum noch etwas von den einzelnen Begebenheiten dieser Zeit. Trotzdem scheint die Botschaft dieser Bilder leicht und eingängig zu sein, leichter eingängig jedenfalls als die das Bild kommentierenden Texte. Die Bildunterschriften nehmen oft Bezug auf tagesaktuelle Themen oder versuchen, die augenfällige Interpretation der Bildaussage in eine bestimmte Richtung zu lenken. Das hatte damals seinen triftigen Grund. Pressefreiheit im heutigen Sinne gab es im 19. Jahrhundert weder in Frankreich noch in Deutschland. "Gedankenschmuggel" (H. Heine) war angesagt.

 

Die Texte unter den Bildern mussten also oft dafür herhalten, den Sinn der Bilder zu verrätseln. Unter dem Regime von Kaiser Napoleon III. wurden die Zensurbestimmungen nochmals verschärft. Eine kritische Kommentierung innenpolitischer Ereignisse war verboten – eine Situation, die für Daumier schon zur unlieben Gewohnheit geworden war. Schon in der Regierungszeit Louis Philippes waren im Jahr 1835 neue Zensurbestimmungen in Kraft getreten. Nur in der Zeit nach der Julirevolution 1830–1835 und nach der Februarrevolution 1848–1851 herrschten einigermaßen erträgliche zensurärmere Zustände im Pressewesen Frankreichs. Wie viele Blätter insgesamt der internen Vorzensur der Redaktion und der externen Zensur des staatlichen Kontrolleurs zum Opfer fielen, ist unbekannt.

 

Manche werden sich vielleicht erinnern, dass Daumier wegen Verletzung der Pressegesetze in einem Pariser Gefängnis einsaß; er hatte den Monarchen Louis Philippe als Gargantua und die Justiz als Weißwäscher böse beleidigt und sich damit diese Strafe eingehandelt. Politische Karikaturen zu zeichnen war also damals nicht ganz ungefährlich, besonders dann nicht, wenn man die Mächtigen im Staate aufs Korn nahm.

 

Der Zensur fiel auch sein vielleicht berühmtestes Blatt zum Opfer, das auch hier in der Ausstellung gezeigte Blatt der "Rue Transnonain". Es wurde gleich nach Erscheinen beschlagnahmt und vernichtet, nur die schon ausgelieferten Exemplare blieben erhalten. Wir zeigen die Zeichnung zusammen mit zwei anderen Blättern des jungen Daumiers, dem "Juli-Held" und dem Blatt: "Es hat sich wirklich nicht gelohnt, dafür gestorben zu sein". Alle drei Blätter sind Bilder, die vom Töten und vom Tode reden. Ein Thema, das Daumier Zeit seines Lebens beschäftigt hat, und das auch in dieser Ausstellung an zentraler Stelle steht.

 

Wenn wir uns diesen drei Blättern und dann anschließend den großartigen Bildern zu Krieg und Frieden in Europa zuwenden, dann stehen wir vor Bildvisionen, die eine verzweifelte Ruhe, großen Ernst und tiefe Tragik ausstrahlen. Sie erzählen vom Sterben und vom Tod und ähneln damit dem Bildervorrat, den wir aus der christlichen Ikonografie kennen, nur dass Daumiers Botschaft nicht von Heils- und Erlösungserwartungen getränkt ist, sondern nur von Hoffnungslosigkeit, Worten des Untrostes, des Unheils, des Grauens. Und das sollen Karikaturen sein?

 

Sind Karikaturen nicht Bilderrätsel, die dem Erkennenden ein befreites Lachen gönnen? Irgendetwas scheint mit unserem Begriff von Karikatur nicht zu stimmen – statt zündendem Witz nur Ratlosigkeit und Trauer. Doch wie sagte schon sein Freund Charles Baudelaire: Daumier hat aus der Karikatur eine ernste Kunst gemacht. Was mag das heißen?

 

Karikaturen, das sind Bilder von Gegenständen und Personen, denen die Ruhe weggenommen wurde, sie führen Deformiertes und Deformierte vor, sie kippen das scheinbar Normale und die scheinbar Normalen um und zeigen das Monströse und Hässliche an ihnen, ihr wahres Selbst, ihr sorgfältig verborgenes Alter Ego, ihre Nachtseite. Die Vorgestellten zeigen sich in Gestik und Mimik entlarvt, demaskiert, stehen plötzlich ohne den Schutz ihrer Charaktermaske da. Nur, wenn sie so tun, als sei nichts geschehen und sie sich bemühen, ihre deformierte Schönheit als eben besonders schön hinzustellen, dann können wir lachen – manchmal und mit bitterem Beigeschmack.

 

Der Traum einer europäischen Föderation taucht eigentlich erst am Vorabend der Revolution von 1848 auf. In vielen europäischen Ländern wird die Gleichartigkeit der politischen Forderungen nach mehr Freiheit und Demokratie erkannt und in Bilder verwandelt. Eine breite Bildproduktion setzt ein. Zahlreiche technische Errungenschaften erlauben eine Europäisierung des Bildes und die Bebilderung des Europagedankens. Doch der Europagedanke bleibt, so will es die Geschichte, ein schlafender Riese, das Bild verblasst zusehends mit dem leichtfertig verspielten Verlust der Errungenschaften in der 1848er Revolution. Die kriegerischen Auseinandersetzungen, die nicht zuletzt betrieben wurden von einem imperial denkenden neuen Kaiser von Frankreich, rücken in den Interessensvordergrund der Öffentlichkeit. In ihr kommen mehr und mehr nationalistisch eingefärbte Denkmuster zu Wort, Tendenzen, die leider auch von Daumiers Kollegen bei der Zeitschrift Charivari ins Bild gesetzt wurden.

 

Daumier bemüht sich auch nach Errichtung des zweiten Kaiserreiches, politische Bilder im Charivari zu veröffentlichen, nimmt sich aber, um die scharfe Zensur zu unterlaufen, der kleinen und großen Konfliktherde in und am Rande Europas an. So entstehen Bildkommentare zu den Vorgängen in Italien, zu den blutigen Ereignissen im Verlauf des Krimkrieges, dem Spanien-Marokko-Krieg und dem England-Irland-Konflikt und nicht zuletzt zu der Preußisch-Österreichischen Auseinandersetzung.

 

All diesen Bildern scheint eines gemeinsam zu sein:

Mit überaus versteckten Hinweisen, die nur ein kundiger, wacher und geübter Betrachter entschlüsseln kann, baut Daumier seine Bilderrätsel auf. Daumiers Denunzierung barbarischer Unterdrückung aller Freiheitsbestrebungen in den Ländern Europas ist im Kern die Denunzierung der innen- und außenpolitischen Machenschaften eines autokratischen Despoten namens Louis Napoleon.

 

Erst relativ spät beschäftigt sich Daumier mit der Europa-Figur – er hat dann aber über 20 Lithografien zu diesem Thema gezeichnet. Sie erscheinen, bis auf wenige Ausnahmen zwischen August 1866 und März 1869.

 

Im Wesentlichen kreisen die Bilder um drei Themenbereiche:

1. das militärisch gestützte labile Gleichgewicht der Staaten Europas (équilibre européen).

2. die drohende Kriegsgefahr, ausgelöst durch eine allgemeine massive Hochrüstungspolitik.

3. der Konflikt Europa-Türkei. Wenn man nur strategisch denkt. Zur Frage der Behandlung von Menschenrechtsverletzungen in befreundeten Staaten.

 

Die Gestalt der Europa wird von Daumier symbolisiert durch die Gestalt einer jungen Frau in einem antikisierten Gewand, eine ernste und würdevoll auftretende Person, die zur besonderen Kennzeichnung eine Mauerkrone auf dem Kopf trägt. Diese Figur verwendet Daumier mehrfach. Sie tritt zuerst als Sinnbild des republikanisch gewünschten Frankreichs, als "La France" auf; später findet sie auch Verwendung zur Allegorisierung der Stadt Paris oder des Friedens. Es ist immer die gleiche hagere und immer gefasst oder erschrocken dreinblickende Frau. In welcher Bedeutung sie auch immer erscheint, sie ist und bleibt eine tragische Figur der ersehnten Hoffnungen, der unerfüllten Wünsche, eine Figur, die in Daumiers Zeit noch nichts zu suchen hat. Tritt sie trotzdem auf, wird sie sofort mit den herrschenden Gewalten konfrontiert und stürzt in Not und Bedrängnis. Sie ist dann nur noch Spielball der Interessen der Großmächte. Sie balanciert im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes auf einer Bombe, deren Lunte schon gezündet ist. Sie ist eine Unmöglichkeitsfigur, denn sie kann um des lieben Friedens willen sogar Schwerter schlucken.

 

Aber warum bringt Daumier erst ab 1866 die Europa-Figur auf die Bühne des Charivari? Vielleicht können es die Zeitläufte selbst erklären. Daumier beobachtet die seit Jahren zunehmenden Kriegsaktivitäten des neuen Kaisers der Franzosen, eine bis dahin beispiellose Hochrüstungspolitik aller großen Nationen in Zentraleuropa, verbunden mit einer neuen Dimension von Tötungsapparaturen, der Erfindung des Zündnadelgewehres durch den Deutschen Dreyse und dessen Verbesserung durch den Franzosen Chassepot und der Entwicklung des Schnellfeuergewehres, der Mitrailleuse.

 

Und die Konfliktherde in Europa mehren sich, die alte Diplomatie hat abgedankt, Kriegsgott Mars regiert. Die Beherrschbarkeit all dieser Gewalttätigkeiten erfordert eine weitreichende, übernationale Friedenskonzeption, eine gemeinsame Anstrengung aller befreiten Völker Europas. Das vorfindbare Europa der imperialen Despotien jedenfalls führt in eine historische Sackgasse, die in einer schrecklichen Katastrophe enden muss.

 

Aus welcher mythologischen Quelle schöpft nun Daumier seine Mauerkronen-Europa? Die altgriechischen Städte "verlangten" nach einer Gottheit zum Schutze ihres Gemeinwesens.

 

Eine solche Gottheit war nicht nur generell die Walterin über Glück und Unglück, sondern auch Herrscherin über Krieg und Frieden. Sie symbolisiert auch die gute Regierung, die ihre Bevölkerung in ihren Mauern zu schützen weiß: Deshalb trägt diese Gottheit die Mauerkrone auf dem Kopf. Ihr Name im Griechischen: Tyche.

 

Daumier verwendet sie, wie gesagt als Allegorie der "France", ab 1866 erlebt diese Figur eine Generalisierung zur Europa hin – wohl mit dem Beigedanken, dass Frankreich mit seinen Revolutionen 1789, 1830 und 1848 den übrigen Völkern Europas ein Beispiel gegeben hat, wie man mit unerträglichen Zuständen fertig werden kann. Und was ist mit Deutschland? Welche Rolle spielt nach Daumiers Dafürhalten Deutschland in diesem Konzert von viel Krieg und wenig Frieden?

 

Daumiers Bild des guten Deutschland existiert nicht. Seine Beschäftigung mit seinem östlichen Nachbarn setzt erst zu dem Zeitpunkt ein, als die Politik Preußens der Politik von Napoleon III. immer ähnlicher wird. Das mühsam aufgebaute auch gerade von Heinrich Heine geförderte Bild: "Deutschland und Frankreich, die beiden edelsten Völker der Zivilisation" blieb eine Phantasmagorie, nunmehr waren sie Feinde und Komplizen zugleich, einig nur in der Wahl der Strategie des Schreckens.

 

Hatte nicht Madame de Staël in ihrem seit 1815 in vielen Auflagen erschienenem Buch "D’ Allemagne" das Nachbarland als Land der Dichter und Denker gefeiert (la patrie de la pensée)?

 

Und hatte nicht der exilierte Dichter und Wahlpariser Heinrich Heine in seiner Kritik an Madame de Staël ein differenzierteres und realistischeres, in Teilen durchaus positives Bild der Deutschen gezeichnet?

 

Und man darf auch nicht vergessen, dass es neben den geistigen auch durchaus reale Kontakte der Franzosen zu Deutschen gab. Nach der Julirevolution 1830 war Paris Ziel deutscher Handwerker, die in ihrer Heimat weder beruflich noch politisch eine Zukunft sahen. Waren 1830

erst 7000 deutsche Handwerker in Paris ansässig, so wuchs ihre Zahl im Jahre 1848 auf kaum zu glaubende 62 000. Von keiner Nation gab es einen größeren Ausländeranteil in Paris. Jeder 20. Einwohner in Paris war ein Deutscher. Ein außerordentliches und rühmenswertes Beispiel praktizierter guter Nachbarschaft. Heinrich Heine, der unfreiwillige Wahlfranzose, bringt die Sache auf den Punkt. Er schreibt am 14.9. 1842: "… ein Deutscher (könne) sich an keinem Ort der Welt so heimisch fühlen als eben in Paris, und Frankreich selbst (sei) am Ende unseres Herzens nicht anderes als ein französisches Deutschland."

 

Die maßgeblichen Kräfte in der Politik auf beiden Seiten haben nach 1848 diese schöne Illusion zerschlagen. Das Deutschland, das östlich des Rheins unter Preußens Dominanz zusammenwuchs, war, wie man heute sagen würde, ein "militärisch-industrieller Komplex". In den Augen von Daumier war die deutsche Einigung ein militärisch staatsstreichartiger Akt. Er entdeckte im neuen Deutschland höchstens das Spiegelbild seiner eigenen jüngsten Geschichte: den Cäsarismus als durchgängiges Regierungssystem in Mitteleuropa.

 

Deshalb malt Daumier in seinen Deutschlandblättern auch wieder nur Bilder von Krieg und Zerstörung, so wird Deutschland von Preußen erwürgt und der albtraumatisierte Bismarck wird selber vom Tod bedroht. Die "pazifike Mission", an der ein Deutscher namens Heine und ein Franzose namens Daumier in ihrem Sprech- und Malamt gearbeitet haben, verschwindet im Kriegslärm.

 

Aber wir erinnern uns – solche Bilder, wie wir sie heute sehen, überdauern selbst die größte Barbarei. Sie bleiben unvergessen. Und das, lieber Michael Melot ist die Antwort auf deine provokante Frage: Was haben die Deutschen bloß mit dem Daumier? Keine Angst, wir wollen Herrn Daumier nicht germanisieren, sondern europäisieren.

 

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AN ABSOLUTE RARITY! BUT IS IT A DAUMIER?? LD C

 

May 1, 2004

 

La promenade à Romainville.

 

 

Again we are very fortunate to present to the constantly increasing group of Daumier collectors an extremely rare print: LD C ( NDR nr. 4008), originating from a German private collection. (LD C is part of a group of 5 very early lithographs, numbered LD A, B, C, D, E.) Of LD C, there are presently only four prints known to exist: three in colour, one in black and white.

 

 

Bibliothèques Nationales de France, Cabinet des Estampes, Paris, France

Marcel Lecomte Collection

Gaston-Dreyfus Collection

Private Collection, Germany

 

 

 

This print was deposited with the Ministry of the Interior on December 24, 1822. Honoré Daumier was a boy of fourteen years. It still has the traits of a beginner’s work: although the ground is uneven, the figures seem to be walking elegantly as if on a paved street. In any case, Daumier already as a young boy showed a sense of satire. Romainville, a little village east of Paris, was known for its Vaudeville. Variétés had been performed there since 1807. The actor Brunet started his career there with his role as Pépin, dashing around with a large green umbrella.

 

The print shows a family of four strolling by a wheat field at the outskirts of the village. The son is playing the flute, while the parents and the daughter enjoy the flowers in the field. Two men are coming their way, while another group of men is in front of a house nearby, surrounded by trees. In the background there is another house and two windmills.

 

Hazard does not mention these lithographs in his work catalogue. Over many years, various authors have been questioning the authenticity of the five prints LD A, B, C, D, and E. Since the mid-1960’s however, Daumier research has accepted these prints as authentic. It may even be assumed that Daumier, apart from these prints, might have drawn still other prints under a different name. Adhémar and Baudelaire are pointing repeatedly in this direction; no new prints however have been identified lately.

 

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A LETTER FROM PRISON

 

April 28, 2004

 

 

 

A letter from Honoré Daumier has come to our attention just now. It is signed and undated, most likely Daumier wrote it in the second half of 1832, when he was arrested and sent to prison at Sainte-Pélagie (see Biography section, August 1832). The text reads as follows:

 

Madame,

 

je viens d'être arrêté je vous prie de vouloir bien faire savoir à Mr Philippon (sic) je me recommande à mon... obliegeance car je suis dans la position la plus pénible je ... au dépôt de la préfecture

honoré Daumier

Si vous pourriez remettre gentiment à .... qui vous remettra cela vous m'obligerez beaucoup.

 

(Missing parts are illegible. If anybody can help us to decipher the letter entirely, we would be grateful.)

 

 

Translation:

 

Madame,

 

I have just been arrested and I kindly ask you to inform Mr. Philippon about it, for I am in the most awkward situation of being held at the police.

honoré Daumier.

If you could kindly reply to ..... who is bringing you this message, I would be very obliged.

 

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PRINTER VERSUS CENSOR: LD 3484

April 19, 2004

 

We would like to present to you this time an extremely rare print, which has never been published. You will see two versions of the same print, both are unique.

 

The first one is part of the Rosenwald Collection at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Previous owners were H. Stinnes and most likely also Dreyfus. The text reads : "Bien embarassé" and the plate carries the number 82 from the Actualités series. Note the handwritten "refusé" by the censor in the upper left hand corner. (see picture below)

 

 

 

 

The second version of this plate is part of a private collection in Germany. The previous owners were Malherbe and later Gerstenberg. This unique plate shows quite a different text : "- A droite ou à gauche ?…. " Again we can see in the upper margin above the image the note from the censor, flatly refusing publication, with a simple "Non" and the date of February 10, 1866. (see picture below)

 

 

 

Apparently, the printer DESTOUCHES had anticipated approval for this print by signing and dating it Paris - February 9, 1866. He must have been caught by surprise the following day by the censor’s refusal, which prompted him to add his own "Non" to his previous approval (good for printing).

 

It is difficult to say, which of the two prints came first. Moreover it seems that there still exist two additional states: one with the text "Bien embarassé" but without the plate number and the name of the series; another one with the text "Bien ambarassé". This would mean that a total of 4 states of this print may exist of which none has ever been published.

 

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NEWS FROM DAUMIER'S GRAVE

April 15, 2004

 

Dear Daumier- Friend,

 

For those of you who participated in the restoration program of Daumier’s grave at Père Lachaise in Paris, here some good news: the grave site has been cleaned up, and the path way around the grave has been redone. The tree that had collapsed over Daumier’s grave has been removed. On May 19 at 3:30 p.m., the Mayor of Paris will visit the Père Lachaise cemetery in occasion of its 200th anniversary. He will hopefully support us in the restoration project.

 

Any further financial help from your end however would be highly appreciated, since we now need to spend funds on the restoration of the tombstone and the chain which, as you know, have been worn out by time over the last 125 years.

 

Have a look at some recent photographs of Daumier's grave.

 

 

Please contact us for any further questions or comments.

 

Thanks for your continuous support,

 

Dieter and Lilian Noack

 

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ANOTHER DAUMIER DISCOVERY!

 

April 5, 2004

 

LD 755

 

We are thrilled to show here again a very rare print, which in this form has rarely ever been seen: LD 755 from the Rosenwald Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. This is the only first state of this print we are aware of, published on December 5, 1839 in the Charivari. It shows the handwriting of BIAIS, the journalist responsible for the text. Biais like Cler worked at the Charivari during this period, supplying the captions to many of Daumier’s lithographs.

 

 

On this print, we can easily see the various changes of the caption before the publication with its final text, which reads:

 

LES BADAUDS.

« On ne veut pas croire, il est impossible de croire que ce pauvre pêcheur perché sur un bateau soit le motif de ce rassemblement. A coup sûr, les parisiens cette caste intelligente et active, est clouée là par un évènement grave, une modiste, un paire de france, un Md. de marrons, un candidat à l'Accadémie, victime de l'amour ou de l'ambition!... Eh bien non, c'est réellement un goujon que vous ne voyez pas et qu'ils ne voient pas non plus. »

 

(The Gapers.

You can hardly believe, it's impossible to believe that this poor fisherman perched on a boat is the only purpose of this gathering. With a sure instinct, the Parisians, this intelligent and energetic cast, are nailed to the ground by a serious incident, a milliner, a peer of France, a chestnut vendor, a candidate for the Academy, a victim of love or ambition!.... Ah well no, it's really a gudgeon that you aren't seeing and that they aren't seeing either....)

 

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LATEST DAUMIER DISCOVERIES.

March 23, 2004

 

LD 915

 

We are delighted to be able to show you this beautiful and unique print from the Rosenwald collection at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. This is the first of four known states with handwritten caption by one of the printers on the upper left hand corner. Obviously, Aubert (the printer) had received the fresh print from Daumier, as usual without text, and sent it to Huart’s home address (see enclosed photograph). The note reads:

” Monsieur Huart is requested to immediately return this letter with the messenger, who will be waiting …. to take it to the printer’s”.

 

 

Huart, then working as a journalist for the Charivari, added the following handwritten caption below the image as well as the title of the series “Actualités” and “No” (for number) to be added later by the printer:

 

L'EAU DU PUIT DE GRENELLE

- Décidément cette eau chaude est très mauvaise à boire.

- Oui, mais il y a beaucoup de petits insectes dedans!

 

Translation :

 

“Water from the springs of Grenelle.

- No question, this warm water tastes awful.

- Yes, but it is so full of little bugs.”

 

Once Huart had added the legend, he folded the print twice horizontally and returned it to the waiting messenger to take it back to the printer’s shop, in this case Aubert. Once Aubert had received the caption, the printing process could start.

 

(verso)

 

We are not aware of the reason why the printer was in such a hurry to have the messenger wait for Huart’s reply. The drilling of the Grenelle artesian well had started already on December 24, 1833 under Georges Mulot. It was only on February 24, 1841 that the drilling on the corner of rue Valentin Hauy and rue Bouchut proved to be successful and Mulot sent a message to Arago, then Mayor of Paris, announcing : ”Arago, nous avons de l’eau! Mulot” (Arago, we have water! Mulot).

 

It was not until a month later, on March 21, 1841, that the Charivari published the above lithograph.

 

 

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THE FRENCH HAVE JOKES, BUT DO THEY HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR?

February 2, 2004

 

VERY DROLL

DECEMBER 18TH 2003

 

The French have jokes, but do they have a sense of humour?

 

This scene in the film "Ridicule", by Patrice Leconte, shows a marquis

at the court of Louis XVI in Versailles telling other courtiers and

their crinolined companions about his discovery of humour during a trip

to England. He tries to illustrate this peculiar phenomenon by telling

a joke he has heard in England. No one laughs until another courtier

adds a witty, slightly dirty remark to the English joke.

 

Does humour exist in France? Before the French revolution of 1789, the

word HUMOUR was hardly known. People knew ESPRIT (wit), FARCE (prank),

BOUFFONNERIE (drollery) and HUMEUR (a state of mind, or mood), but not

humour. Only in 1878 did the French Academy, the institution that

stands guard over the French language, accept HUMORISTIQUE as a French

word. A year later Edmond de Goncourt used HUMOUR without italics as a

French word in his novel "Les Freres Zemganno", but not until 1932 did

the academicians give their approval to the noun HUMOUR.

 

Writers and intellectuals musing about English humour searched for an

equivalent in France. Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire, France's

best-known writer in the 18th century, tells the Abbot d'Olivet in a

letter in 1762 that the English pronounce humour YUMOR, and think they

are the only ones to have a term to express that state of mind. Madame

de Stael, the daughter of Jacques Necker, a finance minister of Louis

XVI, wrote in a discourse on literature: "The English language created

a word, humour, to express a hilarity, which is in the blood almost as

much as in the mind ...What the English depict with great talent is

bizarre characters, because they have lots of those amongst them."

 

CARICATURE, YES, AND SATIRE TOO

When Goncourt used the word humour in 1879, he was discussing

caricaturists. This was the year of the death of Honore Daumier, the

caricaturist who had become famous all over France after being

sentenced to six months in jail for his depiction of King

Louis-Philippe d'Orleans as Rabelais's gluttonous giant Gargantua.

Daumier's works--"Memories" is reproduced on the left--were published

weekly in LA CARICATURE, until the government prohibited political

caricature in 1835.

 

With Daumier, Charles Joseph Travies, Henry Monnier, Gavarni and later

Grandville, Cham and Gustave Dore, French caricature had its golden age

in the 19th century. These caricaturists had a field day during the

four years of the ephemeral Second Republic after the 1848 revolution,

when they were able to make fun of Louis-Philippe without risking jail.

Even under Napoleon III they could get away with most of their

satirical sketches about the Parisian bourgeoisie, the armed forces or

bouffant-haired ladies and mean landlords. During France's wars in the

Crimea (1853-56), with Austria (1859) and, most notably, with Prussia

in 1870, the country's caricaturists became fiercely chauvinistic. A

favourite target of Daumier's pen was Germany's chancellor, Otto von

Bismarck, and his spiked helmet.

 

To this day L'HUMOUR ENGAGe--political satire and caricature--features

prominently in France. Comic films and plays are either farcical or

witty, with plenty of wordplays and rapid-fire verbal exchanges. But

humour, in the English sense, remains an alien concept.

 

One of the fiercest critics of the government, "Les Guignols de l'Info"

("The News Puppets"), a daily television programme similar to Britain's

satirical "Spitting Image", is a huge success. "Les Guignols" has

become sharper, even crueller, since it started in 1988. Hardly

anything is taboo now. SUPERMENTEUR ("Superliar"), President Jacques

Chirac's alter ego, is a particular favourite. In the following

exchange he is pondering Mr Chirac's legal difficulties:

 

"Les Guignols" has felt obliged to apologise only a few times--once to

Mr Chirac's wife, Bernadette, whom it had portrayed masturbating with

her handbag.

 

LE CANARD ENCHAiNe, a satirical weekly, is equally feared by

politicians and public personalities because of its investigative

journalism and trenchant wit. CHARLIE HEBDO (Charlie Brown of the

Peanuts cartoon strip was godfather to the magazine) and HARA-KIRI

HEBDO, two satirical weeklies launched in 1969, are competing on the

same ground. HARA-KIRI, which was created in 1960 as a monthly French

version of MAD, an American satirical magazine, was twice censored by

the government before its relaunch as a weekly. It has absorbed LA

GROSSE BERTHA, another satirical magazine that was launched in 1991

during the first Gulf war. CHARLIE HEBDO went bust in 1981, just after

supporting Coluche, a comedian, in his bid for the presidency. It was

relaunched ten years later.

 

None of these magazines can boast a political caricaturist as well

known in France as Jean Plantureux, or Plantu. A satirical cartoon by

Plantu--like the one on the right--has been on the front page of LE

MONDE, France's pre-eminent daily, for the past 20 years. Plantu used

to pick his subject himself, but Edwy Plenel and Jean-Marie Colombani,

who took over as the paper's editors in 1994, made him give up the

right to choose his topic in 1995; now it is always the main story of

the day. Earlier this year Plantu vehemently clashed with his bosses

over a sketch (posted on his website) that showed Plantu's trademark

mouse gagged while reading "La Face Cachee du Monde" ("The Hidden face

of LE MONDE"), a best-selling polemic about the editors' arrogance and

abuses in their quest for political power.

 

"We still have the naivety to believe in certain things," says Plantu.

"We do not have the detachment that characterises English humour, we

are more militant. If we have a cause to protest, however minor, we

tear open our shirts, run into the street and shout 'Shoot me!'"

 

FARCI DE FARCES

If the Latin emotions of the French sit uneasily with humour, so does

the French logical mind. French children are instilled with Cartesian

ESPRIT (here meaning mind) at school and, even more, in the GRANDES

eCOLES, the country's elite universities. When your correspondent was

at university in France, she was told her poor performance was due to

an Anglo-Saxon mind that made her unable to think properly, or rather

logically. A French Cartesian mind does not know what to make of a

nonsensical story, such as this one. "The governor of the Bank of

England began an address to an assembly of bankers with these words:

'There are three kinds of economists, those who can count and those who

can't.'" A joke of this kind would be met with incomprehension by

French listeners. It is not logical.

 

Self-deprecation, another essential ingredient of a "detached" sense of

humour, is not the forte of the French. But if France is too emotional,

too logical or too unsure of itself for humour, it can at least fall

back on farce as a way of releasing the emotions. The French love Jerry

Lewis, the American they call LE ROI DU CRAZY; he has even been awarded

the Legion of Honour, the country's highest decoration. And of course

France produces its own farces. One of the best-loved of recent years

is the at times heavy-handed film "Le Pere Noel est une Ordure"

("Father Christmas is a Shit"), directed by Jean-Marie Poire. It shows

Pierre and Therese, staffers at a charity, manning the telephones on

Christmas Eve to help callers in despair. Zezette, a pregnant woman,

arrives at the office, fleeing her violent husband, Felix, who is close

behind her. Felix, still wearing his working clothes as Father

Christmas, is subdued by Pierre and Therese and ends up in hospital.

The second visitor at the office is Katia, a manic-depressive

transvestite in search of Mr or Miss Right. The ensuing series of

catastrophes reaches its climax when Felix returns with a gun, a lift

repairman is killed, Pierre loses his virginity to Therese, and Felix

and Zezette dispose of the dead repairman.

 

"Le Pere Noel est une Ordure" was a big hit in France, but flopped

elsewhere, especially in America, where "Santa Claus is a Louse", as it

was called, bombed. So did Mr Poire's next film, "The Visitors",

another farce, this one about medieval life, which also won a cult

following in France.

 

Why do French comic films not travel well when those made in Britain or

America--whether by Woody Allen, John Cleese or the Monty Python

team--seem to make people laugh all over the world? One answer,

perhaps, is that audiences in other countries simply do not have the

French fondness of puerile farce. Another, though, may be that the

things that make the French laugh involve linguistic somersaults that

only work in their own language. Much of French humour is JEUX DES

MOTS, untranslatable wordplays.

 

Cartoons are an exception. French-made cartoons and illustrated stories

are a huge success worldwide. Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo created

Asterix, one of the most successful cartoons ever. They are also the

fathers of Lucky Luke. And Jean-Jacques Sempe and Mr Goscinny together

created a series of books about the adventures of a little boy, LE

PeTIT NICOLAS.

 

JE DIS, JE DIS! BIEN JE JAMAIS!

A meeting organised by the French Ethnological Society in 1997 about

"The Universe of Asterix" found that probably the most successful

French cartoon was translated into 72 languages, five regional

languages (such as Corsican and Alsatian) and 18 dialects, including

Berliner German and Cantonese Chinese. Yet the cartoon's jokes were

hard work for translators. Much of the humour in Asterix consists of

wordplays, onomatopoeia and animal noises that are impossible to render

in another language. Translators tended to leave onomatopoetic

expressions like SNIP, TCHAC, PAF or TCHAC in the original, though they

mean nothing in Cantonese or Swedish. The cartoon's text also makes

frequent use of the French language's countless homonyms such as LA

TRIBU (the tribe) and L'ATTRIBUT (the attribute), or MA REINE (my

queen) and MARRAINE (godmother). They generally have no equivalent in

other languages, so the joke is lost.

 

The translation of "Asterix chez les Bretons" was particularly

difficult, says Henriette Touillier-Feyrabend of the National Centre

for Scientific Research, as its humour depended on using English

grammar in French. Asterix and his companions would, for instance, look

for the MAGIQUE POTION'S TONNEAU (the magic potion's cask) rather than

LE TONNEAU DE LA POTION MAGIQUE.

 

Yet, despite translators' best efforts, a MeSENTENTE CORDIALE remains

when it comes to funniness. At the end of the film "Ridicule",

mentioned at the start of this article, the hat of the Marquis de

Bellegarde is blown away by the wind. Interrupting his lamentations, an

English lord (who has caught the hat) remarks that it is better than

losing one's head. Ah, cries Bellegarde, this is English humour!

 

- COPYRIGHT -

(c) 2003 The Economist Newspaper Group Limited. All rights reserved.

ECONOMIST ARTICLE ON FRENCH HUMOUR ( DAUMIER)

December 18, 2003

 

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LATEST FINDINGS ABOUT LD 3740

 

June 16, 2003

 

We received information about LD 3740 from Mr. Timothy Riggs, curator at the Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, giving a new explanation to this lithograph.

 

The original background information explained that the German states which were annexed by Bismarck in 1866 (Saxonia, Hesse, and Hannover) are lying to his feet like in a tomb. The chancellor holds Baden like a puppet in his hand. In order not to alienate France, Baden as a close neighbour to France was initially reluctant to join the German nation under Bismarck. The Rhine river was a rather unsafe border between the two countries and Baden’s economic interests were closely linked to the French side of the great stream. Eventually pressure from the German side and Prussian Pan-Germanic ideology became so dominant that Baden finally had to give in and join the North-German Union.

 

The French word “PANTIN” personifies a “jack in the box”, “political jumping Jack” or a mere puppet”.

 

Mr. Riggs pointed out that he owns a newsprint impression of this and had puzzled over the meaning of the title for many years before accidentally running across the key:

 

In 1869, the town of Pantin just outside Paris was the scene of a sensational crime. J. B. Troppman, a young man lodging with a family, murdered the entire family and buried the bodies. Daumier's composition, showing Prussia strangling the smaller German states and throwing them into a mass grave, is linked to Troppman's crime by the title "Following the Pantin example".

 

---------

We will add this information to the database of our future digital DAUMIER REGISTER.

 

 

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