The Extraordinary Daumier

Honore Daumier was an individualistic painter of his time. While his painter friends pursued the more conventional genres, he forged his own path and his own style. The nineteenth century was a time of great social change. Daumier, an observer of his surroundings in nineteenth century Paris, commented on this change.

He drew out the essence of a scene and painted it with extraordinary expressive power. Always with that particular tension that exists between reality and the imagination.

He was a humane man, quiet but with a grand sense of humour. His bohemian friends included Corot and Baudelaire and copies of his lithographs were owned and referred to by Delacroix, Courbet, van Gogh and Cezanne. Such was his circle of influence and admirers.

We must be generously willing to leave for a time the narrow boundaries in which our individual lives are passed… In this fresh, breezy atmosphere… we will be surprised to find that many of our familiar old conventional truths look very queer indeed in some of the sudden side lights thrown upon them.

- Daumier