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
Je suis oiseau, voyez mes ailes. Je suis souris, vivent les rats. 1870
English: I’m a bird, look at my wings. I’m a mouse, long live the rats.
Lithograph, published in Le Charivari, initialed in the lithographic stone
Purchased with funds from the Myers Foundations
University Art Collections: Art & Design Study Collection
Published near the end of Emperor Louis Napoleon’s rule, when censorship laws were liberalized, Daumier drew this unflattering caricature of politician Emile Ollivier—a liberal monarchist against whom Le Charivari launched a barrage of editorial attacks during the general elections of 1869. The print’s caption was taken directly from a well-known fable (“The bat and the two weasels”) by 17th century French poet Jean de la Fontaine. As in the work by John Doyle (to the left), the politician is represented as a half-human and half animal hybrid.