The Farce is Over

Honore Daumier (1808-79), Baissez le rideau, 1834, plate 421 from Le Caricature. Daumier Register 86, only state. Sur Blanc, on wove paper. In compromised condition: tears in margins (some poorly repaired), toning, soft folds, staining verso, other defects, not matted. 9 x 10 7/8, the sheet 10 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches.

A good impression of this rare print.

Here are notes and translation from the Daumier Register:

This print shows a masterly interpretation of King Louis-Philippe dressed in the costume of a clown while the theatre curtain falls. With a sardonic smile he points at “Blind Justitia”, thereby insinuating Justice to be a farce. At the same time, the parliamentarians, disappearing in the dark, are not living up to their responsibilities to protect the judicial system. The text on this print is a quote of the last words of Rabelais. When he died drunk, he said “Draw the curtain, the farce is ended”. It is interesting to observe that the King was not to take a seat within Parliament but rather in a special box with a curtain towards the plenary.

Original Text:
Baissez le rideau, la farce est joue.


Lower the curtain, the farce is over.