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Honoré Daumier



Honoré Daumier was a French painter and caricaturist who achieved fame through his satirical cartoons, whose painting proved influential to the Impressionist movement. Honoré Daumier was born on February 26, 1808, to a family of glaziers and framemakers, allowing him to be exposed to art from a young age. The first of his lithographs dates to when he was just fifteen. He was largely self-taught, leading him to utilize somewhat unorthodox techniques. His only formal tutor was Alexandre Lenoir. Other than art, Honoré Daumier enjoyed a typical lower-middle class education. Honoré Daumier’s career is largely split into two parts. From 1830 to 1847, he worked as a lithographer, sculptor, and cartoonist. He began his satirical work in 1830, focusing on critiques of contemporary government and society. Indeed, in 1832 Honoré Daumier was arrested for licentious language and government depiction, causing him to serve six months in prison. However, he did not stop working as a cartoonist and achieved widespread fame and acclaim for his work in French satirical newspapers. In his private life, Honoré Daumier worked on painting and sculpture; much of his circle was comprised of leftist artists. The Revolution of 1848 caused him to decide to pursue painting more fully, thus initiating the second half of his career, which lasted until 1871. Honoré Daumier did not achieve great success as a painter, but his work was beautiful and lively and widely admired by later Impressionist painters. Honoré Daumier continued to produce his lithographs during this time and took on several students, as well as remaining politically involved. The last years of his life were plagued by blindness, poverty, and illness; up until his death in 1879.

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