Paris, Aubert, n.d. .
Folio [339 x 263 mm] of 30 plates. Green half-sheepskin, flat spine. Contemporary binding.
Complete and very rare set of 30 original lithographs in very nice proofs in black on white, in a very scarce issue of the 2nd or 3rd state (out of 3 or 4), before correction, with Aubert’s address, later erased. Delteil, 760 to 790.
The bathers on the banks of the Seine offered Daumier multiple subjects to evoke comical situations.
The series of thirty plates of Les Baigneurs, published between June 1839 and September 1842 in Le Charivari, was much appreciated by Delacroix for the quality of the anatomical studies it contains, and which will have a female counterpart, in 1847, with Les Baigneuses.
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) began his career as a political cartoonist for the newspapers “La Caricature” and “Le Charivari” under the sign of opposition to Louis-Philippe led by Charles Philipon, the director of these publications.
But the laws of September 1835 put a brake on the freedom of the press and forced Daumier to reorient himself towards the caricature of manners.
Parisian society is then pinned in all its strata under the eyes of readers of “Charivari“.
Formidable caricaturist of the ridicules of the French society of the 19th century, qualified of “Michelangelo of the caricature“, he developed his lithographic career for the press, from the July Monarchy until the fall of the Second Empire.
« Delacroix, not only appreciated but even studied the nude of the Baigneurs of Daumier ». (Béraldi).
“The source of the river Seine is found in Burgundy, runs through Paris and ends in the Channel. The public baths in the Seine offered a highly welcomed refreshment in summer. According to information by Provost one of the “”Bathing Boats” called “”Petit, Ecole de Natation”” was moored very close to Daumier’s house at the Quai d’Anjou on the river Seine. In turning over this album all the different schools of swimming, from the working-man’s bath at 10 Centimes up to the noble baths, where one walks on rugs. Daumier even allows us to peak a stolen glance at the ladies aquatic section. We also enjoy a view of the Seine and those strong gentlemen racing the train in the water, swimming against the current. We see all these aspects from their amusing angle, because Daumier’s drawings are filled with grotesque physiognomies, amusing scenes and all those little mishaps which strike the unfortunate swimmer. (from a Charivari advertisement August 2, 1843) The French painter Delacroix (1798-1863) was so impressed by Daumiers Bathers that he pinned a lithograph from this series to the wall of his studio. He advised his students to look at Daumiers prints exhibited in the windows of Auberts gallery in order to appreciate this masters drawing talent.””
Good condition, except for few foxing on some plates.