- Honoré Daumier (French, 1808-1879)
- Oil on canvas
- 21-1/2 x 25-3/4 in. (54.6 x 65.4 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
- Accession Number:
- © Norton Simon Art Foundation
Daumier was the great caricaturist of the nineteenth century. He published over 4,000 caricatures in French newspapers, but he was also a painter. Like his print work, Daumier’s paintings often depict people on the margins of modern society—in this case, a group of down-at-heel circus performers: two clowns and a little acrobat. Unlike his caricatures, Daumier’s paintings are comparatively rare and often poorly preserved, since he was essentially self-taught and never learned the finer points of oil technique. The Norton Simon’s ownership of both a study and a finished picture is unusual and instructive; the crackled surface of the sketch may indicate how quickly Daumier worked it up, revising the poses and painting over his mistakes before underlying layers had properly dried.
Jean Joubert, Paris, by 1901, still in 1922.
[Paul Rosenberg, Paris, stock nos. 1274 and 1151].
C. C. Stillman, by inheritance to;
Dr. Ernest G. Stillman (sale, New York, American Art Association, 3 February 1927, lot 23, ill., as Le Repos des Saltimbanques, to);
[Paul Rosenberg, Paris].
Arthur Sachs, New York and Paris, by 1930, until at least 1939;
[Wildenstein and Co., New York, sold 1955 to];
Norton Simon, gift 1976 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.
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