French Realist draftsman, lithographer, painter and publisher
Honoré Daumier was born in Marseilles in 1808 but moved to Paris with his family at the age of eight. He spent his time after apprentice jobs copying works in the Louvre, where the director and artist, Alexandre Lenoir, noticed his talent and persuaded Daumier's parents to allow him to begin training with Lenoir. In the 1820s, Daumier apprenticed to the lithographer, Zéphirin Belliard, where he mastered this new medium and launched a successful career as a graphic artist and political cartoonist. Although Daumier reportedly painted in oils in the 1830s, most of his paintings were made between 1855 and 1870 before he his eyesight declined. Painting subjects of everyday working class life, Daumier typically employed an expressive contour outlining with broadly painted minimal detail. His paintings, however, never found popular success, even though he was accepted four times by the Salon. An exhibition of his work was held at Durand-Ruel's gallery in 1878, the year before his death at his country home in Valmondois.