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Friday 21 February 2020

Honoré Daumier's lithograph featuring a caricature of Corot, “Aspect de la Seine de Paris à Chatou”, 1851

Honoré Daumier (1808–1879)

“Aspect de la Seine de Paris à Chatou” (View of the Seine from Paris to Chatou), 1851, plate 71 from the series, “Tout Ce Qu'on Voudra” (Anything we want), showing a caricature of Daumier’s friend Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875), published by Aubert & Cie (1830s–1880s) in “Le Charivari”, 19 July 1851, in Paris.

Note: Google Translate explains the meaning of the journal title, “Le Charivari”:
“a cacophonous mock serenade, typically performed by a group of people in derision of an unpopular person or in celebration of a marriage”.

Lithograph on fine wove paper with full margins and text verso as published in “Le Charivari”.
Size: (sheet) 36 x 25.4 cm.
Lettered on stone: (upper centre) “TOUT CE QU'ON VOUDRA.”; (upper right) “71.”; (lower left) “Chez Aubert & Cie Pl. de la Bourse, 29. Paris”; (lower centre) “ASPECT DE LA SEINE DE PARIS À CHATOU”; (lower right) “Imp. de Me.Ve.Aubert, 5.r. de l’Abbaye Paris.”
Inscribed on stone: (lower left) “h.D.”; (lower right) “1[…]52”.

State i (?) (of ii) before the addition of an arc of tone in the sky (see the state ii impression at the NGA [inv. no. 2015.143.411])

Delteil  1716 (Loys Delteil 1902, “Le Peintre-Graveur Illustré (XIXe et XXe siècles)”, 31 vols, Paris). offers the following background about this lithograph:

“A sunny day in July on the banks of the Seine. The winery and fishing village Chatou was connected by rail since 1837 with the capital some 10 km away, and enjoyed great popularity among the Parisians. The gravel beach and calm water in the river bend and fishing spots invited to sport and fun. The ginguettes - village pubs with music - made for the physical well-being. In mid-July, Daumier and his friend Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (16/07/1796 - 02/22/1875), and perhaps also Daubigny, travelled to Chatou to spend a leisurely day. They ate and drank, discussed, explored the area in search of interesting scenic motives, rowed and tried their luck with fishing.

Daumier was not a fisherman. He rather sat in the shadow under a tree and with a mischievous smile did sketches of people who stood patiently at the bank of the river and fished. Corot was also there, immobile and concentrated with an empty creel. A good opportunity for Daumier to perpetuate his friend in a sketchbook and to hand him the drawing as a birthday gift.

The story may have possibly occurred in a similar manner. There is no doubt that Corot had enjoyed being in Chatou. Some images, such as 'The railway bridge of Chatou' clearly attest to this. The fact is that here we have a lithograph that was published almost simultaneously with Corot's birthday. The two days in between would have been just enough to prepare the lithographic stone and to do all the work involved.

Daumier already had a very similar drawing of an angler from 1844 (see DR1240). Thus, it was easy to replace the figures and to transform the angler into Corot with a hint of his facial features”

Brandeis Institutional Repository offers the following description of this print:
“Men are lined up on the banks of the Seine to fish”

Condition: a strong impression in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of handling).

I am selling this confident and loosely drawn lithograph featuring a caricature of one of the most important landscape artists of the nineteenth century— Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot—for AU$181 in total (currently US$119.55/EUR110.73/GBP92.70 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this fascinating caricature of Corot possibly designed as a birthday gift by Daumier and executed 21 years before Corot was able to support his friend by buying him a home when Daumier became blind, homeless and penniless, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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