HISTORY OF MODERN FRANCE
From the Pre-Revolutionary period to the 3rd Republic 1770-1870 - Part V
8 March 2023
Honoré Daumier and the Comedy of Manners: French Society in Caricature, 1830 - 1870
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) is without doubt the greatest caricaturist that France ever produced. His career coincided with the birth of the modern mass press of the first Industrial Revolution and with the advent of a new technique for the reproduction of imagery, lithography. His caricatures covered every aspect of French society from the life of the new urban middle classes to that of the workers, artists, stage actors, humble street musicians and also the politicians of the day, whom he portrayed with biting and still hilarious satire. His drawing skills were unique and were greatly admired by his fellow artists – Degas called him the “Michelangelo of the nineteenth century”. Our lecture will cover all aspects of his imagery and serve as the background to the evolution of French society from the era of Louis Philippe to that of Napoleon III.
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