(b Marseille, Feb 26, 1808; d Valmondois, Feb 10, 1879).
French graphic artist, painter, and sculptor.
Son of a Marseille glazier, frame-maker, and occasional picture restorer, Daumier joined his father in Paris in 1816. He became a bailiff’s errand boy and was then employed by a bookseller, but his real enthusiasm was reserved for drawing and politics. He studied drawing with Alexandre Lenoir and at the Académie Suisse and then worked as assistant to the lithographer Béliard. Having mastered the techniques of lithography, he published his first plate in the satirical weekly La Silhouette in 1829.
Daumier was 22 when the revolution of July 1830 gave the throne to Louis-Philippe as constitutional monarch and power to the French middle-class business community. On 4 November 1830 the print publisher Aubert and his son-in-law Charles Philipon launched the violently anti-monarchist weekly La Caricature, followed on 1 December 1832 by Le Charivari, the first daily paper to be illustrated with lithographs. In his association with these newspapers and in the company of Republican artists, Daumier found a favourable milieu for developing his vigorous style and progressive ideas....