Friday, December 10, 2010

Rue Transnonain, Daumier

This lithograph is by far one of Daumier's most famous prints. It was also one of great controversy. The existing prints that we have of this published piece to this day are highly valued because when it was first printed and distributed in La Caricature, a publication that spoke out vehemently against censorship of the press, it was rounded up by the government and destroyed--the lithograph print stone included. Only copies successfully hid by individuals exist today. 

Daumier speaks out doubly against the actions of the French National Guard and the government that directs them. The scene is not a caricature as was Daumier's expertise. Instead it is a very disturbing depiction of the result of the actions taken by the National Guard against a family during a time of riot. Women and children were killed mercilessly and Duamier speaks to the barbarian cruelty of these acts while also challenging the attempts to censure opposing opinions about government affairs. 

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