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Daumier and others

written by Miro Procházka
translated by Zoltán Bartko 2017-11-21


Daumier and others


At the beginning of the 19th century, lithography was extensively used throughout France. It was accessible and easily feasible, mainly because this technique had the most in common with the most genuine expression in fine arts: pencil and pen drawings. That′s why it was so popular among the magazines of the age. 


Until 1870 it was so influential – mainly in political caricature – that it could significantly influence illustrative art, even fine arts as such. Since the artists often made drawings directly on the stone, without any preparation, the unbound sheets or cut-out transparent images have great value. 


HONORÉ DAUMIER (1808–1878) was among the first to fully utilize the expressive power of lithography and to use the content to accuse their own era.  His list of works is long, since he made almost 4000 such plates during his life. In 1831, he became a full-time employee of the then newly established La Caricature magazine, the main voice of the opposition, which started the more than 40 year career of the satirical chronicler of political and social life in France. 


His satire targeted the foolishness and arrogance of the citizens and bureaucrats. The "Actualities" series, to which the exhibited works belong, sports more than a thousand sheets. 


This exhibition is an excerpt from the rich collection of graphical artefacts from the former Coburg-palace, now the Museum of St. Anton, seated near Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia. Phillip Coburg was a collector of graphic works, his cloakroom was fully wallpapered with the caricatures printed in the magazines “La Caricature“, “La Charivari“ and “La Silhouette“. Many prints are free to view at the exhibition on the corridor of the palace. 


PhDr. Miro Procházka


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