240 works by Honoré Daumier (180879), the most important French caricaturist of the 19th century, are being shown to the public for the first time since being donated by the collectors Brigitte and Walter Kames.
Since 3,085 lithographs and 30 woodcuts by the French artist were transferred to the Museum Foundation to Assist Bavarian State Museums in 2011, the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München
now has the most extensive holdings of prints by Daumier anywhere in Germany. The Foundation complements the some 650 lithographs and 60 woodcuts already in the prints collection.
A major part of the Kames Collection comprises early sheets as well as a large number of complete series in which Daumier dealt with one subject in several different images. The selection of works shown in the exhibition includes some of these series in their entirety, providing a compelling and comprehensive overview of the artists oeuvre.
Narrow-minded politicians and over-burdened heads of state, haughty Parisians and country bumpkins as well as pining bachelors and resolute wives all of them are examined down the minutest detail by Daumier and caricatured to a tee. Daumier lived in the metropolis of Paris from childhood. He was a member of staff on the weekly satirical magazine La Caricature (183035) that soon fell victim to censorship. In addition, he worked for decades for the daily Le Charivari (183275). His oeuvre consists of some 4,000 lithographs drawn by him personally and approximately 1,000 woodcuts made from his drawings. Over a period of more than forty politically and socially extremely eventful years, Daumier created very original pictorial satires that are characterised in particular by the dramatic use of light and shade, precisely drawn physiognomies and the artists apt depiction of a situations comical side. These images give us an immediate picture of daily events at that time, of everyday politics and society and the different social milieus.