French Realist Illustrator, 1808-1879
was a French printmaker, caricaturist, painter, and sculptor, whose many works offer commentary on social and political life in France in the 19th century. A prolific draftsman who produced over 4000 lithographs, he was perhaps best known for his caricatures of political figures and satires on the behavior of his countrymen, although posthumously the value of his painting has also been recognized. Daumier was born in Marseille to Jean-Baptiste Louis Daumier and C??cile Catherine Philippe. His father Jean-Baptiste was a glazier whose literary aspirations led him to move to Paris in 1814, seeking to be published as a poet. In 1816 the young Daumier and his mother followed Jean-Baptiste to Paris. Daumier showed in his youth an irresistible inclination towards the artistic profession, which his father vainly tried to check by placing him first with a huissier, for whom he was employed as an errand boy, and later, with a bookseller. In 1822 he became prot??g?? to Alexandre Lenoir, a friend of Daumier's father who was an artist and archaeologist. The following year Daumier entered the Acad??mie Suisse. He also worked for a lithographer and publisher named Belliard, and made his first attempts at lithography. Having mastered the techniques of lithography, Daumier began his artistic career by producing plates for music publishers, and illustrations for advertisements.