The Human Comedy: The Reading of the Will


Honoré Daumier ( French, 1808 - 1879 )

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General Description

A lawyer reads a will to a group of men and women who listen with various degrees of interest and anticipation to learn what, if anything, they have inherited. Published in Le Charivari on December 20, 1853, the lithograph was one of seven works forming the series The Human Comedy. Daumier may have drawn inspiration for this title from the French novelist Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), who used it as early as 1841 to name a much larger series of caricatures that portrayed Parisian types and pointed out their all-too-human characteristics. Balzac also worked briefly for Le Charivari in its early days.

Excerpt from

Martha MacLeod, DMA label copy, 2016.

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