Wednesday 25 February 2009

Daumier Day

Any excuse for a picture here on Nigeness, the illustrated blog - and today's excuse is the 201st birthday of Honoré Daumier (that Nadar photo - wonderful!). A brilliant, often savage caricaturist - and hugely prolific - he was also a considerable artist (un grand petit maitre?). His murky palate, firm brushwork and muted chiaroscuro effects, with strong but rounded outlines, give his paintings a very distinctive look. And they always have an air of mystery about them - his people seem bent on some private business, lost in their own thoughts and dreams (Don Quixote was a subject to which he returned obsessively - there's a good one in the National Gallery). I think he's worth a second picture...