26 October 2013—26 January 2014
In The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House
Honoré Daumier, 'The Laundress', 1861-63. Oil on wood. 48.9 x 33 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence. Described by Baudelaire as the artist with the capacity to capture ‘the heroism of modern life,’ this exhibition will showcase every facet of Daumier’s output, concentrating on his paintings, drawings and watercolours, supported by a selection of complementary lithographs. The exhibition will broadly follow the chronological span of the artist’s lifetime, which saw extensive political and social change in France together with the development of the Romantic and Realist movements. Daumier’s finely attuned visual memory allowed him to recall his perceptive observations of daily life and his practice of endless revision reveals his sensitivity to anything false or borrowed.
This exhibition explores themes that bring out the meaning and originality of Daumier’s work such as judgement, spectatorship and reverie. The contrast between the role of the spectator viewing art, and the isolation of the artist in the studio alone with a blank canvas will be addressed.