Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) The Drinkers, c. 1860
Watercolor, pen and ink, and charcoal on cream laid paper
9 7/16 x 10 1/2 in. (23.9 x 26.7 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1504
In this depiction of laborers in blue work aprons or overalls, Daumier treats the subject of drink-inspired song. The two men at center belt out a tune to the apparent amusement, or embarrassment, of their companion at left. At right, a fourth man devotes full attention to his beverage.
Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) Three Lawyers Conversing, c. 1862–65
Watercolor, pen and ink, charcoal, chalk, and gouache on cream wove paper
12 15/16 x 9 3/4 in. (32.9 x 24.8 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1499
Lawyers appear frequently in Daumier’s satires. Having been jailed for his political caricatures, the artist had ample opportunity to see lawyers at work. This trio’s upturned noses suggest an undeserved attitude of authority, and their theatrical poses and symmetrical arrangement underscore the artificiality of their conduct.