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A staunch believer in the Republican cause, a freethinker and chronicler of everyday life in turbulent 19th century Paris, Honoré Daumier lived during a pivotal time in France’s history. 'Visions of Paris' sets out to explore his legacy through 130 works, many of which have never been seen in the UK before, with a concentration on paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculptures.
Daumier's work has been admired by artists both of his time such as Degas and Delacroix as well as those who followed; from Picasso and Francis Bacon to Paula Rego and Quentin Blake. Daumier made his living as a caricaturist in newspapers, observing and ridiculing the conceits of bourgeois society, reserving special criticism for dishonest politicians and lawyers; even earning himself a spell in jail for his depiction of King Louis Philippe as Gargantua.
Broadly chronological, this exhibition is the first to go beyond Daumier’s lithographs in the UK since 1961. Spanning the decades from 1830 to 1879 it will look at the range of his output, from disturbing images of fugitives from the cholera epidemics and deeply felt images of the laundresses and street entertainers living in his neighbourhood to his take on the role of spectators and collectors in judging art. In its variety and breadth, this exhibition will give visitors visions of Paris to live long in the memory.
© Royal Academy