Une Navigation Difficile


Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Une Navigation Difficile, lithograph, 1843, plate 6 from the series Les Canotiers Parisiens [with the addresses, text, and Daumier’s initials in the plate]. Reference: Daumier Register, Delteil 1028. Second state (of 3), on wove paper, sur blanc, with the address of Aubert; printed before the publication in the journal Le Charivari. In very good condition, 9 3/4 x 10 3/8, the sheet 10 x 13 1/2 inches, archival matting.

A fine strong impression, printed on a heavy wove paper, before the newsprint edition (sur blanc) for the collector’s edition, which was limited to about 150 impressions.

During the 1840’s boating on the Seine was a popular pastime for Parisiens, but it was not always the pleasure it was supposed to be. Here (courtesy of the online Daumier Register) is the translation of the text:

Original Text:
– Le canot n’avance pas!… tirez donc M. Dumouchel… que diable vous ne tirez pas!. – Mais je ne fais que cela depuis 3 heures… et on appelle ├ža une partie de plaisir! j’aime encore mieux vendre mes pruneaux rue de la verrerie… c’est moins fatiguant.

– The boat doesn’t move! Pull Dumouchel, pull…. why the devil don’t you pull!
– But I am doing nothing else than that for the last three hours!…. and this is called a pleasure trip! I’d rather sell my prunes in rue de la Verrerie…. that’s less tiring!