February 26, 1808. Honoré-Victorin Daumier (February 26, 1808 - February 10, 1879) was a French printmaker, caricaturist, painter, and sculptor, whose many works offer commentary on social and political life in France in the 19th century. In this image: Honore Daumier, Lunch in the Country, c. 1867 - 1868. Oil on panel, 26 x 34 cm. National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. Photo © National Museum of Wales
Hia life and career (1808–79) spanned almost the entire nineteenth century. He was incredibly prolific, producing more than four thousand lithographs, one thousand wood engravings, several hundred drawings and paintings, and numerous sculptures. With humor and with humanism, his art addressed the twists and turns of the tumultuous French political scene as well as many other aspects of life in nineteenth-century France. Although focused on his own era, his images have a universality that allows them to cross cultural and temporal boundaries.
Daumier, Honoré: The Third-Class Carriage
The Third-Class Carriage, oil on canvas by Honoré Daumier, c. 1862–64; in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
Daumier's painting style echoes that of Francisco Goya, Eugène Delacroix, and Théodore Géricault with its loose, expressive brushwork. Eschewing the controlled and polished surfaces of Neoclassical painting, he and other Romantic artists imbued their work with emotion - in many cases, high drama. Unlike most Romantic painters, however, his work is devoid of sentimentality but neither did he convey the kind of emotional distance of Realistslike Courbet. Thus, recent day critics and art historians tend to regard his painting style as a sort of precursor to Expressionism. https://www.daumier.org/