Variétés Drolatiques [bound with] Histoire Ancienne
Paris: Léopold Pannier et Cie., 1841. Item #04953
An Exceptionally Rare Daumier Album
Seven Series Complete Containing Fifty Humorous Lithographs
DAUMIER, Honoré, illustrator. Variétés Drolatiques. Vulgarités. - Les Musiciens de Paris. - Proverbes de famille. - Proverbes et Maximes. - La Peche. - La Journée du Celibataire. - Les Saltimbanques. 50 Planches. Paris: Léopold Pannier et Cie., .
Vulgarités. 10 plates complete DR 905-914
Les Musiciens de Paris. 6 plates complete DR 919-924
Proverbes de famille. 2 plates complete DR 797-798
Proverbes et Maximes. 12 plates complete DR 803-814
La Peche. 7 plates complete DR 815-821
La Journée du Celibataire. 12 plates complete DR 607-618
Les Saltimbanques. 1 plate (of 2) DR 620
Total 50 plates complete.
"Pannier published a separate album with the title "Variétés Drolatiques", par Daumier, Paris , 1 vol. in-4°, demi chagr. It contains the following complete series,sur blanc, bringing the total of prints to 50:Vulgarités, Musiciens de Paris, Proverbes de Famille, Proverbes et Maximes, La Pêche, Journée du Célibataire und Les Saltimbanques."
This album can be considered rare." (Daumier Register).
OCLC locates just three of the plates from Proverbes Maximes. Nos. 6, 9, and 11 (all at Washington University, OR, USA). We located just one copy at auction - sold between October 1898 and July 1899!!!
The only plate that appears in the Armand Hammer Daumier collection is the second plate of La Peche (p.67)
[Bound together with]:
Exceedingly Rare Daumier Histoire Ancienne
Complete with Fifty Superb Lithographs
DAUMIER, Honoré. illustrator. PHILIPON, Charles. Histoire Ancienne. Paris: Chez Aubert, [1841-1843].
Folio (13 3/16 x 10 inches; 335 x 254 mm.). Fifty superb lithograph plates. Some intermittent, mainly marginal foxing.
Together 100 fine lithograph plates containing two of Daumier's rarest suites, both complete.
Contemporary quarter dark brown morocco over marbled boards, spine with four raised bands, ruled in blind and lettered in gilt, marbled end-papers.
A near fine and complete example of two of Honoré Daumier's finest and rarest works.
There is only one copy of Histoire Ancienne located in libraries and institutions worldwide (The Bibliotheque Nationale de France).
"This series of 50 lithos on characters in ancient history and mythology appeared between 1841 and 1843. Daumier's irreverent satirizing of the sacred characters in Greek and Roman mythology contributed to the Romantic attack upon the Classical school in the continuing battle waged in the theater, literature and the arts. Philipon's contrived poems, as captions to the series, contain many veiled allusions to Louis-Philippe and individuals in his reign."
Plate no. 22. "Le Baptême D’Achille…" (The baptism of Achilles; As one tempers a weapon of war, Thetis wishing to make a hero of her brat, dipped him in the Styx, as soon as he saw the light, which proves that a bath is good for all purposes. - On the Influence of Baths, poem by Mr. Vigier.) Deltail # 946.
Plate no. 46. "La Mère des Gracques…" (The mother of the Gracchi: One day when a gay lady was shamelessly praising her jewels, which were worth a few cents, this Roman mother, showing her two young sons, the hope of the country, said, "Behold my only jewels!" - Plutarch.) Deltail # 970. This well-known story provided Daumier the chance to portray two typical Frenchwomen with typical unruly children. Deltail # 970.
Plate no. 47. "Pygmalion…" (O triumph of the arts! What was your amazement, great sculptor, when you saw your marble come to life and, in a chaste and gentle manner, slowly bow down to ask you for a pinch of snuff. - Count Siméon.). Deltail # 971.
(Charles F. Ramus, editor. Daumier 120 Great Lithographs)
Histoire Ancienne is a series consisting of 50 numbered lithographs (DR. 925-974), which appeared in the Charivari between December 1841 and January 1843. Between December 1841 and January 1843, Honoré Daumier in the Charivari published a series devoted to ancient history: fifty plates to antique themes, seventeen of which illustrating the Iliad, the Odyssey and Telemachus of Fenelon. "Alone, without scientific mission, Daumier traveled Greece, drawing where a beautiful feeling attached him, crying where a touching tradition was waiting. Drawing day and night, he finally found the original Greek sense." says the satirical newspaper. The cartoonist wants to infuse "life, movement, privacy, anything that lacked" the Greek hero petrified by ancient sculpture. Some illustrations, comic relief, reminiscent of Greek tombstones Daumier modernized by the effects of perspective or shortcuts. For each board, a comment from a few to a "translation" of Homer crazy, "light poetry", underline the ironic look worn by Daumier on antiquity.
"A quarrel between painters of the classic and romantic schools had fully flared up. Delacroix asked the "loaded" question: “Qui me délivrera des Grecs et des Romains?” (Who redeems us from the Greeks and Romans?). Daumier succeeded to answer it his own way by showing historic personalities such as Hercules, Pygmalion or Agamemnon in absurd situations. It was his method to put history into perspective.
In December 1841, the Charivari announced the arrival of this series as follows: “We have sent Monsieur Daumier to Greece, alone and without any scientific support. He worked day and night to reveal the Greek soul of the past.... Daumier brings antiquity back to us”.
The lithographs of the series "Histoire Ancienne" were published between 1841 and 1843. Daumier was far ahead of his time when he started as one of the first to show how relative the importance of Greek and Roman Mythology can be in a modern world. The admirers of ancient history especially in Arts however were not dissipated easily. It would take another 15 years until Baudelaire in literature and Offenbach in music de-mystified the “old Greeks” and removed the centuries old dust from them." (The Daumier Registry)
Deltail. Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre lithographées de Honoré Daumier, 925-974; Beraldi, Les Graveurs du XIX siècle, V, p. 126; Ramus, p. 126.