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


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”.