DAUMIER (1808-1879): SATIRIST OF FRENCH AND
June 13, 2011
These Study Guides on War and Art were originally
prepared for a course entitled "Responses to
War: An Intellectual and Cultural History" given
in the Department of History at The University of
Adelaide between 1989 and 1999.
Daumier on War: 64 Print Reproductions after the
Original Lithographs (New York: Da Capo Press,
Howard P. Vincent, Daumier and His World
(Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968). On
the Crimea pp. 165-68.
André Rossel, H.Daumier: Ouevres politiques
et sociales. Prend Parti (Courtille, 1971).
Daumier, 120 Great Lithographs, ed. Charles
F. Remus (New York: Dover, 1978), "Introduction,"
Oliver W. Larkin, Daumier: Man of his Time
(Boston: Beacon Press, 1968).
Daumier (1808-79) - Satirist of Prussian Militarism
Daumier (1808-79) painter, sculptor, political
cartoonist. Acclaimed as one of preeminent satirists
of all time. Born in Marseille but family moved
to Paris 1816. No formal education. Learnt at
home and in streets of Paris. Observations of
street life used in his work. HB worked as office
boy for notary (source of information for cartoons
and caricatures of legal profession.
Overheads of law firm apprentice and busy lawyer
- "Le petit clerc called the gutter-jumper.
The little law clerk doesn't eat much, runs
a great deal, strolls about more and more
and returns as late as possible to the office,
where he is the drudge. He is ususally named
Pitou, Godard or Galuchet." Perhaps autobiographical
but no physical resemblance to HD.
- "Mr Business-Only, a lawyer without
cases, pretending to be in a great hurry,
knocks down a dozen urchins every day in the
waiting room of the law court, tramples five
or six mongrels and hopes, by these gymnastic
exercises, to make people believe he has a
1822 taught drawing and new art of lithography.
When July Monarchy overthrew Bourbons in 1830
HD became political cartoonist for republican
magazine La Caricature. Became well known
as satirist. Imprisoned for 6 months 1832-33
for satirical print of King Loius-Philippe "Gargantua"
eating wealth of France. Continued to satirise
king after imprisonment.
Overhead of political caricatures - "The
Pear" and "the principal actor":
- "The Past, the present, the future"
Pear became famous symbol of caricature during
July Monarchy. Appeared in protest posters
on walls in Paris.
- "Principal actor in a tragicomic imbroglio".
Revealing of HD's political views. Critical
of king's charade of democracy and liberalism.
King's cockaded silk hat falls away and uncovers
a crown. Bourgeois umbrella falls as his overcoat
opens, revealing a royal costume. Smiling
mask shows the angry face of King underneath.
Standing on papers with "Prerogatives
of the Chambers" indicating the rights
of the deputies in the parliament usurped
by the King.
After strict censorship imposed in mid 1830s
turned to a series of famous caricatures of
bourgeois life - the dishonest promoter "Robert
Macaire" and lawyers. Returned to political
cartoons after 1848 when censorship briefly
ended. Created figure "Ratapoil" (Ratskin)
symbolising new president Louis-Napoleon.
Overhead of caricatures of bourgeois life -
Ratapoil and Second Republic:
- "Fair lady, will you accept my arm?"
"Your passion is too sudden for me to
believe in it." Ratapoil agent of Louis-Napoleon,
bears striking resemblance to LN (sharp nose
and pointed beard). Acts as hired agent of
LN stirring up trouble to pave way for master
to assume throne. HD made statue of Ratapoil
which wife would hide whenever she heard footsteps
War and Art
Loius-Napoleon became emperor severe censorship
reimposed. HD avoided political cartooning.
During 1860s met younger radical artists like
Manet and Monet. Work showed tragic side during
1860s as international situation deteriorated.
Drew 417 lithos on international themes 1866-1872,
with many warnings about rise of Prussian militarism.
Images from 1850s (dictatorship of Napoleon
III 1851, Crimean War 1854-56, Italian Independence
- 1851 - Gingerbread
bas-relief - A General's triumphant entrance
- 1854 - "The
Army Hierarchy" (104K) On military
hierarchy and discipline
- 1854 - The
Battle Commanders (119K) On indifference
of militarty leaders to suffering of troops
- 1855 - Tsar Nicholas I - "Confound
it! I was wrong to take on all of Europe"
(128K) Tsar attempts to seize entire globe
which threatens to crush him. In the background
are silhouettes of French and British soldiers.
During Crimean war series of lithographs depicting
stupidities of inadequate Russian generals,
badly prepared and equiped soldiers, frustrated
Tsar. Censorship relaxed to enable criticism
of France's enemies. Although about Russia
just as applicable to French.
- 1859 - Troop
Departure (136K) Labelled El Cid to get
past censors but picture of knight riding
off to battle to cheering crowds. On popular
enthusiasm for war and patriotism.
- 1859 - The
Conqueror (128K) Drinking, raping. On
behaviour of conquering troops
1855 - Tsar Nicholas I - "Confound
it! I was wrong to take on all of Europe"
from the 1860s
- Jan 26, 1866 The
Danaides up to date (111K) On war expenditure.
Danaïdes 50 daughters of Danaus, King
of Argo, sentenced to underworld for murdering
their husbands. Eternal punishment carry water
in sieve and pour it into broken cask. New
Danaïdes were powers of Europe filling
bottomless cask (named "treaties of 1815,
the obsolete balance of power") with
sacks of gold or military spending to maintain
balance of power between states.
- Dec 1, 1866. The
European Balance of Power (94K) instability
of international situation, globe balanced
- 1866 - "Just take a new rifle into
your hand, pull the trigger, and you'll kill
ten times as many men as before." "Ah
yes Papa - that's what we call progress."
On military training for youth
- 1868 - Disarmament
- apres vous (136K) HD mocking militarists
who bow and smile but will not enter the negotiating
- Dec 1868 "Christmas presents for 1868".
On prediction of war in near future. Europe
finds her Christmas presents by the fireplace
- cannon, guns, bayonets, bullets.
- Jan 26, 1869. Poor
Old Fellow (94K) An old veteran in 18th
C costume broken with age and injuries symbolises
European balance of power. Attended by equally
aged and battered old women "Conference",
the courtisan, toothless old hag with powdered
hair and costume.
- ? "Balance
of Power" Europe nervously balancing
on a smoking bomb.
- Oct 12, 1869. Just
like Pantin (128K) On Prussian militarism.
In village of Pantin in 1869 scene of mass
murder which HD likened to Prussian seizure
of territory. Helmeted Bismarck crushing Duchy
of Baden. Other victims Saxony, Hanover, Hesse
piled up on the ground. HD drew 55 lithos
depicting rise of German Empire.
- Images of Peace
- On weapons makers.
Dec 1, 1866. The
European Balance of Power (94K)
- On popular enthusiasm for war and patriotism.
- Aug 22, 1870. Bismarck's
Nightmare "Thanks!" (128K) In
a dream Death thanks Bismarck (asleep in chair
under tent) for the wars he has brought about.
Death grasps his arm to point with hand and
scythe towards battlefield. Appeared one month
after French declaration of war in July 1870.
HD's warning of tremndous loss of life France
was to suffer at hands of Prussians.
at the Heritage (94K) Jan 11, 1871. Female
figure representing France and New Year of
1871 looks back aghast and weeping at devastation
as Prometheus and the eagle as vulture
(111K) Feb 13, 1871. Prometheus angered gods
for bringing fire to mankind. Punishment to
have liver pecked at by vulture for eternity.
France as Prometheus. Eagle imperial eagle
of Nap III or Prussia. Liver French lives
lost by Nap III or reparations demanded by
an Idyll (77K) March 6, 1871. Skeleton
of peace wearing bonnet with flowers and ribbons
oblivious to surrounding devastation playing
pipes (threnody of death) among ruins.
- 1870 - Postwar
Images about fall of Napoleon III's Second
- 1870 The
Empire is Peace (102K) - The end of NapIII's
Second Empire. Although Louis-Nap had promised
peace when he became emperor Nap III, "L'empire,
c'est la paix" 1870 entered into numerous
reckless military adventures between 1851-1870:
Crimean war against Russia, China, joined
Sardinia against Austria (Solferino), 1861-7
attempted to establish French Empire in Mexico,
Franco-Prussian war 1870.
- Oct 18 1870 - Whose
turn is it now? (128K) Defeat in war means
the end of NapIII's empire. Napoleonic eagle
joins the relics of other overthrown French
- Nov 16, 1870 - Page
of History (128K). Victor Hugo's poems
of opposition cruch the Napoleonic eagle.
Witnessed siege of Paris after fall of emperor
at Sedan. After suppression of the Commune and
creation of Third Republic under Thiers HD became
blind and stopped work.
Aug 22, 1870. Bismarck's
Nightmare "Thanks!" (128K)