Parisian Types, No. 4: Old Scoundrel! (Types Parisiens, Pl 4: Vieux Scelerat!!)
Honoré Daumier ( French, 1808 - 1879 )
Two lawyers wearing their judicial robes walk among a crowd as they engage in what appears to be a curious conversation. Their expressions, as well as the text, suggest they just successfully completed an underhanded courtroom maneuver. This print, which is part of the Parisian Types series, was published in La Caricature on May 19, 1839, and in Le Charivari on October 17, 1841. The critic Arsène Alexandre wrote: “It’s amazing . . . he must have known them all. This is Master X . . . , right beside him stands Master Y . . . , and this surely must be Master Z . . . No question . . . They really all look as if they were alive!” Honoré Daumier despised lawyers and magistrates, which his biting images suggest.
Martha MacLeod, DMA label copy, 2016.
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Read a biography of Daumier from the NGA.