Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Daumier book

The Frenchman Honore Daumier (1808-1879) can be regarded as the father of the presscartoon. He drew thousands of lithographs published in daily newspapers and satirical journals. He created art that was close to the people, art about everyday life and politics that was universally understood. But he was also admired by the intellectuals and artists of his time: Baudelaire, Balzac, Hugo ... In France ,at that time, there was no room for free speech and censorship was established. In 1832, Daumier was condemned to 6 months of prison for his drawing 'Gargantua' (cover of the new book).

Nowadays there are still many prints of the work of Daumier in circulation. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant caricaturists ever.

Time to present the new book. (thanks Saskia, for the information!)

There are coffee table books, there are research books difficult to digest for mortals without a PhD in art history, and there are those few and rare highly informative and well researched books on Daumier which offer in-depth information and non repetitive, or little knownbackground research with just a few pictures. Recently, a new book appeared on the market by Michel Melot, Art historian and former director at the Bibliothèque publique d'information at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, who still holds numerous important positions in French cultural life. The book's title is:

DAUMIER, L'Art et la République, ISBN 978-2-251-44339-3, published by Les Belles Lettres/Archimbaud, Paris 2008

It guides the Daumier amateur through new aspects of the rather unsuccessful 1878 Drouot exhibition, provocatively calling the first section of his book 'Comment Daumier devint un inconnu', a question certainly worth researching. The second section describes Daumier's career from the early beginning up to his time at the 'Boulevard', again a fascinating and in many aspects new research. The third and final section deals with Daumier's life as a celebrity, especially the period after his death and his acceptance beyond the borders of France.

To read such a fresh and in-depth publication about Daumier and his oeuvre is unusual and we would like to highly recommended it to all Daumier friends, be they collectors, Museum curators or University teachers. In this moment there exists only one caveat: you need to be able to read French. An English or German translation in this moment is unfortunately not yet available.
(sources: Lilian & Dieter Noack, Daumier Register, Scherper nr.3-sept2006)

A date to keep in mind: 2008 is the DAUMIER YEAR ! Activities, exhibitions and events around the globe to celebrate Daumier's 200th birthday.

Click here to go to the DAUMIER Website. There you will find complete information about Daumier's life and work, like: a detailed biography, a bibliography with more than 1'600 titles, a portrait-gallery, information about Le Charivari and other newspapers, an exhibition of fakes and reprints, a list of more than 700 Daumier exhibitions, Daumier News and Discussion Forum, an exhibition of unpublished Daumier prints, to name but a few topics.
You can visit the DAUMIER-REGISTER, the digital work catalogue which gives you all the details, background information and pictures for all of the 4'000 Daumier prints.

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