When, in 1860, Daumier was temporarily let go by his primary employer—the popular magazine that published his lithographs, Le Charivari—he began to produce highly finished watercolors such as this one to appeal to a burgeoning market of bourgeois collectors. Throughout his career, he often treated the theme of art spectators and enthusiasts. Here, he portrayed an exemplary connoisseur reclining in an armchair and contemplating his surrounding collection. The object of his gaze is a tabletop replica of the Venus de Milo, the monumental Greek marble that came to symbolize the beauty of Antique art upon its installation in the Musée du Louvre in 1821. This watercolor was included in Daumier’s only one-man exhibition during his lifetime, held at the Durand-Ruel Gallery in 1878.
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Medium:Pen and ink, wash, watercolor, lithographic crayon, and gouache over black chalk on wove paper
Dimensions:17 1/4 x 14 in. (43.8 x 35.5cm)
Credit Line:H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Signature: In ink, lower left: 'h. Daumier'
Jules Dupré (French)(his sale no. 160); Durand-Ruel Gallery; Louisine W. Havemeyer
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Daumier, 1808-1879," 1937.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classicism and Romanticism. French Drawings and Prints," September 15–November 1, 1970.
Paris. Cabinet des dessins, Musée du Louvre. "Dessins français du Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York de David à Picasso," October 25, 1973–January 7, 1974.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nineteenth Century French Drawings and Prints," June 23–August 23, 1981.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Daumier Drawings," February 26–May 2, 1993.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. "Honore Daumier, 1808-1879," June 11, 1999–September 6, 1999.
Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "Honore Daumier, 1808-1879," October 5, 1999–January 3, 2000.
Phillips Collection. "Honore Daumier, 1808-1879," February 19, 2000–May 14, 2000.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 20, 2008–January 11, 2009.
Royal Academy of Arts. "Daumier: Visions of Paris," October 26, 2013–January 26, 2014.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Anniversary Highlights," October 8, 2020–January 18, 2021.
Maison 370; Ives/Stuffmann 77; Havemeyer Coll. 1993
Léon Rosenthal Daumier : accompagnées de quarante-huit notices. Paris, n.d., fig. no. pl. XLVI, pp. 107-108, ill.
Henri Frantz, Octave Uzanne Daumier and Gavarni. London, 1904, IV D, ill.
Max Deri Die Malerei im XIX Jahrhundert. vols. 1, 2, Berlin, 1920, fig. no. pl. 12 (v. 2), pp. 99-100 (v. 1, ill.
Raymond Escholier Daumier. Paris, 1923, opp. 22, ill.
Erich Klossowski Honoré Daumier. Munich, 1923, cat. no. 377b, fig. no. pl. 141, p. 121, ill.
Eduard Fuchs Der Maler Daumier. 1927, cat. no. 247, fig. no. pl. 247, p. 57.
The H.O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. Privately published, New York, 1931, pp. 184 (ill.),, ill.
Charles Sterling, Anatole de Monzie, Claude Roger-Marx Daumier: Peintures, aquarelles, dessins. Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris, 1934, cat. no. 90, fig. no. pl. 90, p. 103, ill.
Jean Adhémar "Sur la date des tableaux de Daumier." Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de l'Art Français. 1935, p. 158, ill.
Elise Van Hook, Henri Marceau, David Rosen, Claude Roger-Marx Daumier, 1808-1879. Exh. cat. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1937, cat. no. 22, fig. no. pl. 31, p. 29, ill.
Benno Fleischmann Honoré Daumier, Gemälde, Graphik. Vienna, 1938, fig. no. pl. 57, ill.
Walter Mehring European Drawings from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Portfolio of Collotype Reproductions [Vol. 1: Italian Drawings; Vol. 2: Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, and British drawings; Vol. 3: "New Series": Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, and British drawings]. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3 vols., New York, 1942–44, also N.S., no. 40., cat. no. 43 (vol.2), fig. no. 43, ill.
Jean Adhémar Daumier Dessins et Aquarelles. Paris, , cat. no. 27, ill.
Jean Adhémar Honoré Daumier. Paris, 1954, cat. no. 92, fig. no. 92, p. 122, ill.
K. E. Maison Daumier Drawings. Thomas Yoseloff, 1960, cat. no. 121, fig. no. pl. 121, ill.
Jacob Bean 100 European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: New York Graphic Society, 1964, cat. no. 71, fig. no. 71, ill.
K. E. Maison Honoré Daumier: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings. 2 vols., New York, 1968, cat. no. 370, fig. no. pl. 118, p. 126, ill.
Linda Boyer Gillies "European Drawings in the Havemeyer Collection" Connoisseur. vol. 172, no. 693, November 1969, fig. no. 2, pp. 155, 148, ill.
Linda Boyer Gillies, Colta Ives, Jacob Bean Classicism and Romanticism: French Drawings and Prints, 1800-1860. Ex. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1970, cat. no. 13, p. 3.
Jacob Bean, Linda Boyer Gillies, Cynthia Lambros, Roseline Bacou, Réunion des Musées Nationaux Dessins français du Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: de David à Picasso 54th Exposition de Cabinet des Dessins Musée du Louvre, 25 octobre 1973–7 janvier 1974. Paris, 1973, cat. no. 20, ill.
Paris-New York. A Continuing Romance. Exh. cat., New York, Wildenstein. New York, 1977, cat. no. 101, ill.
Roger Passeron Daumier témoin de son temps. Fribourg, 1979, cat. no. 178, p. 240.
Louis Provost Honoré Daumier: A Thematic Guide to the Oeuvre. edited by Elizabeth C. Childs, New York, 1989, p. 215.
Louis Provost Honoré Daumier: A Thematic Guide to the Oeuvre. 1989, p. 215.
Christopher Finch Nineteenth-Century Watercolors. Abbeville Press, New York, London, Paris, 1991, fig. no. 204, pp. 156-157, ill.
Bruce Laughton The Drawings of Daumier and Millet. 1991, fig. no. 10.26, pp. 178-180, ill.
Bruce Laughton The Drawings of Duamier and Millet. New Haven, 1991, pp. 179-180, ill.
Colta Ives, Martin Sonnabend, Margret Stuffmann, Klaus Herding, Judith Wechsler Daumier Drawings. Ex. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1992, cat. no. 77, fig. no. 52, pp. 172-3;50, ill.
Pierre Rosenberg, Louis-Antoine Prat, Bruno Ferté Passion for Drawing: Poussin to Cézanne, Works from the Prat Collection. Exh. cat. Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia, 2004, fig. no. 3, p. 23, ill.
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Catherine Lampert, Mr. Michael Pantazzi, Judith Wechsler, Edouard Papet, John Berger, T. J. Clark, Peter Doig, Sarah Lea Daumier (1808-1879): Visions of Paris. Beatrice Gullström, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2013, cat. no. 72, pp. 42, 132-133, ill.
Claude Keisch, Max Liebermann Haus "Daumier ist ungeheuer!" (Max Liebermann): Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Graphik, Bronzen von Honoré Daumier. Stiftung Brandenburger Tor, Nicolai, Berlin, 2013, pp. 135, 170.
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