French social and political satirist Honoré Daumier was born on this day in 1808 (died 1879). Though most renowned for his prints, Daumier produced this sculpture of the character Ratapoil as a commentary on the rule of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, then president of the Second French Republic. A year later, Louis Napoléon became Emperor Napoleon III and reintroduced press censorship. Daumier’s images of Ratapoil disappeared.
On Daumier’s 206th birthday, his work is anything but silent.
“Ratapoil,” executed in plaster 1851, cast in bronze c. 1925, by Honoré Daumier