Study for "Saltimbanques Resting"

Study for "Saltimbanques Resting"
Honoré Daumier (French, 1808-1879)
c. 1865-1866
Oil on panel 
11-3/4 x 14-3/4 in. (29.8 x 37.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

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.

This work is a study for the larger Saltimbanques Resting of 1870, also in the Norton Simon collection.


Colonel Briggs, Grand Rapids, Michigan;
[Vose Gallery, Boston, sold 27 August 1923, as “The Doctor,” to];
[M. Knoedler & Co., New York, stock no. 15718, sold 24 January 1924 to];
Philips Memorial Gallery, Washington, D.C., consigned 13 February 1940 to];
[M. Knoedler & Co., New York, stock no. CA1492, sold 9 August 1940 to];
[Sam Salz, New York, sold 1940 to];
Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970), Porto Ronco, returned 1957 to;
[Sam Salz/19th and 20th Century Art, Inc., New York, sold 1957 to];
Robert Ellis Simon, Los Angeles, gift 1969 to;
The Norton Simon Foundation, acc. no. F.1969.38.4.P, sold 1985 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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