Outside the Print–Seller's Shop

MAKER:
Artist

Honoré Daumier ( French, 1808 - 1879 )

DATE:
c. 1860–1863
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General Description

Famous for his political and satirical cartoons, Honoré Daumier was also a painter and sculptor. His paintings have an unmistakable aspect, at once solid and active, built through a blurred yet precise impasto. His ability to describe the movement and casual attitude of a crowd on an urban street comes from his sharp graphic work. In this oil panel, figures in the foreground examine prints for sale outside a shop. A boy takes a peek into a closed portfolio, while a young man in black closely studies a print representing a woman with children (probably a work by Daumier). Behind them, a worker in a simple cap has turned a concentrated, serious gaze toward another image. Daumier is describing the power of images, the lure of art, as a democratic and shared passion.

Excerpt from

Bonnie Pitman, ed., Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 191.

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