Old Scoundrel! (or Old Villain, Vieux Scelerat!)


Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Old Scoundrel! (or Old Villain, Vieux Scelerat!), lithograph, 1839 [with the initials, title, address in the plate]. Reference: Daumier Register 562, second state (of 3), before the address of Bauger, lower left. Published in†Caricatures Provisoires, plate 4 from Types Parisiens. In good condition apart from being†trimmed†at the top just above the†borderline and†below the lettering, trimmed at the sides (well outside of the borderline) and below just below the lettering, the sheet 10 1/8†x 7 1/2 inches.

A very good clear impression of the relatively rare second state, with the faint lettering on the windows in the rear still quite readable (the words Judgement, and Vente).

This impression is on newsprint, and the lettering from the publication Caricatures Provisoires is verso

The Daumier Register notes this about Daumier’s portrayals of lawyers: According to ArsŤne Alexandre, Daumierís first biographer, there was no artist since Rabelais depicting lawyers as mercilessly as Daumier. The series turned out immediately to be a great success with the public of this period. Even today, reprints are found in almost all publications covering Daumierís productive life as an artist. Daumier used the legal subject in lithographs, wood engravings, sculptures, drawings as well as oil paintings and water colours. Almost all aspects of judicial life were shown in conjunction with human weaknesses found on both sides of the bar.