Originally posted on
blog on Thursday March 15, 2007
Daumier's Young Artist
Honoré Daumier (French, 1808 -- 1879), after 1860, oil on canvas,41 × 33 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Image from Wikipedia.
Daumier is one of my favourite artists. I love his acute observation and his humour, and find endless pleasure in his drawings and lithographs, as the French public did during his lifetime. His ability to make recognisable and pointed caricatures of public figures got him thrown into jail, more than once I believe, but he continued as soon as he got out.
This piece is one of his rare paintings. It shows a young artist asking advice of an older one. I love how Daumier has managed to make the youth so callow, and how he has created a relationship of deference vs experience between the two men with a minimum of means. And I also love the way the feet of both figures are flat on the ground.