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Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
HONORÉ DAUMIER Le Ventre Législatif.
Lithograph sur blanc, 1834. 280x434 mm; 11x17 1/8 inches, wide margins. A proof, before the folded edition published in L'Association Mensuelle, Paris. A very good, richly-inked impression of this scarce, early chef d'oeuvre.
Daumier (1808-1879) was one of the leading draftsmen of controversial and highly critical political caricatures that cleverly captured the political strife prevalent throughout France in the 19th century. Born in Marseilles and raised in Paris, Daumier began studying art in 1822 under Alexandre Lenoir; thereafter he enrolled for a short time in the Académie Suisse and continued training as an apprentice under master lithographer Zépherin Belliard. By 1830 he was producing caricatures depicting the foibles of the bourgeoisie and the corruption of the government for Charles Philipon's satirical political newspaper Le Caricature. The scathing political caricatures Daumier produced for Le Caricature and Philipon's other publications were often fined and censored by King Louis-Philippe's officials; in fact the cartoons were so offensive that a single caricature depicting Louis-Philippe as Gargantua resulted in Daumier receiving a six month prison sentence. Delteil 131.