Bruce Laughton Honoré Daumier

ISBN 13: 9780300069457

Honoré Daumier

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9780300069457: Honoré Daumier
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The life and work of one of the most productive and renowned French artists of the nineteenth century is examined in this beautiful book. Known primarily in his own time for the penetrating social and political commentary of his cartoons, Daumier is now equally admired for his drawings, watercolours, and oil paintings. Bruce Laughton draws on new material to present the most comprehensive treatment of this multi-faceted artist in two decades.
Laughton traces Daumier's professional life: his early career as a lithographer-cartoonist, when his fame as a social satirist spread through all classes of French citizens; his attempts to change direction as an 'artist-peintre' with the advent of the Second French Republic; his painstaking production of watercolours for connoisseurs (and his simultaneous parody of these people); and then the independent development of his oil painting techniques alongside his continued production of lithographs and designs for wood engravings. Laughton also discusses Daumier's private life, investigating, for example, his view of the lawcourts, the significance of his 'Saltimbanques' or wandering entertainers, and the personal symbolism of his images of Don Quixote.
In conclusion Laughton describes Daumier's late career, which included both personal disasters and artistic achievements and ended in the most unsung retirement of any artist of comparable stature in the nineteenth century. An appendix to the book provides transcriptions and commentary on five of Daumier's account books, which give clues about how he lived and how his works were regarded.

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About the Author:

Bruce Laughton is emeritus professor of art history at Queen's University, Canada.

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