Archive for the ‘Honore Daumier’ Category


Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), L’Ivrogne, lithograph, 1834 [with initials in the plate]. Reference: Daumier Register 189, second state (of 2), with letters verso but before/without text. As published in Charivari.  In generally good condition, trimmed rather closely and irregularly, edges browned, 10 7/8 x 8 3/4, the sheet 12 x 9 1/8 inches.

A good impression of this exceedingly rare print.

This is a Daumier print without an explanatory title, thus perhaps justifying my unabashedly quoting the various theories about the print as related by the Daumier Register: ” The title of this print might be: “The drunkard” or “Consequences of a quarrel”. There are different interpretations of this theme by various authors: Champfleury and Delteil are identifying the subject as a quarrel at the Barrière du Maine (today Place Bienvenue). Jean Laran simply finds the print “strange”, while Passeron finds some hidden political significance in it. He assumes that the missing, explanatory text had been suppressed by the censor. Provost suggests that this print shows the victim of an encounter with the police.

There exist only 3 known copies of the “sur blanc” edition. Only few prints originating from the Charivari with the text “au verso” can be found.”


Monsieur – Here's Your Handkerchief

Friday, December 11th, 2009


Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Monsieur – Here’s Your Handkerchief, lithograph, 1842. Daumier Register 670, third state (of 3), sur blanc, plate 47 from the series Moeurs Conjugales, published in the album of that title and then in the journal Le Charivari. In good condition, a tear bottom edge margin, with margins, 12 x 8 1/2, the sheet 13 1/2 x 10 inches.

A very good impression, on sur blanc wove paper (from the small collector’s edition, without the letterpress verso as the print was issued in the large Le Charivari edition).

Here’s the translation from the indispensable Daumier Register (note: the soldier is going off to war and the maid runs after him offering him his handkerchief and some advice):

Original Text:
Monsieur …. Monsieur, v’ là vot’ mouchoir…. madame y a mis de l’eau de Cologne et elle vous recommande bien une fois au corps de garde de demander une chauffrette!

Monsieur, Monsieur, here’s your handkerchief. Madame has put some Eau de Cologne on it and she said you should ask at the Guard whether you might get a foot warmer.



She's Gone!

Monday, July 27th, 2009


Honore Daumier (1808-1879), She’s Gone (Ciel! apres trois mois…), lithograph, 1841, published in Le Charivari as plate 45 in the series Moeurs Conjugales. References: Delteil 668, Daumier Register 668, Delteil’s third state of three, DR’s fourth state of four. A sur blanc impression, without letterpress verso. [With the address, inscription, number, and initials of artist in the plate] In very good condition, with wide margins, 12 1/4 x 8, the sheet 14 x 11 inches, archival matting.

A fine clear and black good impression of this humourous print.

Loys Delteil did not identify this state of the print, but the recently published (online) Daumier Register notes that this is a fourth state, with the address of the publisher Bauger at the lower left.

The sur blanc issues of the Daumier prints were for collectors of the prints who appreciated the heavier paper (heavier than newsprint) and lack of interference of the letterpress verso in the image. They were issued in very limited editions of about 100 (especially popular prints perhaps a few more, others possibly less), in this case probably just after the publication of the lithograph in Le Charivari.

Uncharacteristically, the idea for this print, and the language below, were Daumier’s.

Here the translation (courtesy of the Daumier Register):

Original Text:
Ciel! après trois mois d’absence, je trouve ma femme déménagée!….. et quels souvenirs me laisse-t-elle, grand Dieu!…

My God!… After having been away for three months I find that my wife has moved out! And what memories she leaves behind, good Lord!

There's No Arguing about Taste – Fishing in a Sewer

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009


Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Desperate Fisherman (or, There is No Accounting for Taste), lithograph, 1840 [with letters in the plate]. Reference: Daumier Register 817. A sur blanc impression, on cream wove paper, issued apart from the newsprint publication in Charivari (also issued in the Album Comique in 1842). In very good condition, with margins, 11 3/4 x 8, the sheet 13 3/8 x 10 1/4 inches, archival window matting.

A fine fresh impression of this classic fishing scene.

The sur blanc impressions were published in quite limited editions for collectors (typically 100 or so impressions), in this case prior to the wider publication of the lithograph. Collectors generally preferred the sur blancs because the paper was better grade, there was no newsprint to show through and, the printing quality was generally quite fine.

Here, from the invaluable online Daumier Register, is a translation of the lettering, as well as a comment on the translation:

Original Text:
il ne faut pas disputer les gouts.

“There is no accounting for tastes”.

There is a play on words in the text of this print. “des goûts” means “of tastes”. It is pronounced in the same was as the word “d’égout”, meaning “sewage”.