Honoré Daumier: Jurists in Series

Wars, revolutions, economic crises, famines, epidemics, but also groundbreaking inventions such as gaslight, railroads, electricity and photography. The epochal upheavals of the 19th century accompany the life and work of Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) from the July Monarchy under Citizen King Louis Philippe through the Revolution of 1848 and the Second Republic to the Second Empire under Napoleon III.

It soon became apparent that the boy, who grew up in poor circumstances as one of ten children, was an unusually gifted draftsman. Early on, he familiarized himself with the newly emerging medium of lithography and, as a contributor to satirical weeklies, secured a modest income that was barely enough to feed his parents and siblings. Over a period of 40 years, Honoré Daumier produced two to three lithographs a day. In the end, his oeuvre included 4,000 lithographs, 200 paintings, 800 drawings, and about 1,000 drawings for wood engravings.

Often over several years, Honoré Daumier illuminates politicians and government officials, individual occupational groups and social milieus in all shades as a close observer. The central theme is Paris - a symbol of modernization and technical progress as well as a focal point of social developments with winners and losers. Several series focus on the lives of people in the metropolis, with all their weaknesses, eccentricities and longings. 



1808 Marseille - 1879 Valmondois (Seine-et-Oise)

Les Gens de Justice

Daumier mocked political actors, juggling through phases of relative press freedom and strict censorship. And also crashes, once even having to spend six months in prison for denigrating the king and his ministers.

In addition to politicians, doctors and professors, the target of his spots are especially lawyers and judges, whom he perceives as cruel and presumptuous. Especially in "Les Gens de Justice", Honoré Daumier exposes lawyers to ridicule. 37 sheets of this series of 39 lithographs will be offered at the September auction at an estimated price of 10,000 to 12,000 euros. The "Michelangelo of caricature" also provides timeless insights into human nature in this series.