Title of Work
Date of Work
Initialed in the lithographic stone.
Art & Design Study Collection
UND Art Collections Repository
Honoré Daumier was a prolific painter, printmaker and caricaturist born in 1808 in Marseille, France. In 1822 Daumier studied under Alexandre Lenoir, an artist and archaeologist that was dedicated to saving French monuments during the French Revolution. One year later he went on to attend the Académie Suisse. His works are best known for commenting and critiquing on the 19th century social and political life in France. Honoré Daumier's works can be found at the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Rijksmuseum, and several other prominent collections internationally. The University of North Dakota holds more than 1600 works by Daumier, the vast majority of which are part of the Lilly Jacobson Collection, which can be accessed here: https://commons.und.edu/daumier-prints/
Aside from making powerful politically-charged images that reflected his pro-republican views, Daumier satirized lawyers, doctors, businessmen, professors, and lifestyles of the bourgeoisie. Although the inscriptions that accompany Daumier’s lithographs were not written by him, one might assume they mostly conveyed the spirit of the artist’s intent behind his images.
Published in Le Charivari
Original Text: De Charybde en Scylla, 1869
English: Scylla and Charybdis
Lithograph, published in Le Charivari, initialed in the lithographic stone
Purchased with funds from the Myers Foundations
University Art Collections: Art & Design Study Collection
Dating the year before the Franco-Prussian war, the print references Greek mythology. A rowboat (Europe) tries to navigate between the hazardous shores of Scylla and Charybdis. Marianne (symbol of France) handles the oars. Inscribed on Scylla’s cliffs is the “question of Germany” and on Charybdis’ cliffs the “question of the Orient” (referring to the Ottoman Empire). Daumier’s use of visual metaphors alludes to real dangers that France faced during the last years of the Second Empire. Indeed, Germany and France began a war the next year, which France lost.
Images are provided for educational purposes only and may not be reproduced for commercial use. Images may be protected by artist copyright. A credit line is required to be used for any public non-commercial educational purpose. The credit line must include, “Image courtesy of the University of North Dakota.”