signed with the initials h.D. (upper right)
oil on card laid down on canvas
TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART
LITERATURE AND REFERENCES
Blake-More Godwin, European Paintings in the Toledo Museum, Toledo, 1939, illustrated p. 175
This work will be included in the forthcoming supplement of the Catalogue raisonné of the work by Daumier now in preparation by the Comité Honoré Daumier. The present work is closely related to the head of a boy depicted in
La Famille sur la Barricade (see K. E. Maison, Honoré Daumier, Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings, vol I, New York, 1968, #II-18, plate 185, and Edward Fuchs,
Der Maler Daumier, Munich, 1930, p. 92)
Daumier was born in Marseille to Jean-Baptiste Louis Daumier and Cécile Catherine Philippe. His father Jean-Baptiste was a glazier whose literary aspirations led him to move to Paris in 1814, seeking to be published as a poet. In 1816 the young Daumier and his mother followed Jean-Baptiste to Paris. Daumier showed in his youth an irresistible inclination towards the artistic profession, which his father vainly tried to check by placing him first with a huissier, for whom he was employed as an errand boy, and later, with a bookseller. In 1822 he became protégé to Alexandre Lenoir, a friend of Daumier's father who was an artist and archaeologist. The following year Daumier entered the Académie Suisse. He also worked for a lithographer and publisher named Belliard, and made his first attempts at lithography.
Having mastered the techniques of lithography, Daumier began his artistic career by producing plates for music publishers, and illustrations for advertisements. This was followed by anonymous work for publishers, in which he emulated the style of Charlet and displayed considerable enthusiasm for the Napoleonic legend. Daumier was almost blind by 1873.