Honoré Daumier

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Honoré Daumier
The Schoolmaster and the Drowning Child
ca. 1856-1857
Pen and black ink and wash, opaque watercolor, and black chalk.
11 15/16 x 9 5/16 inches (287 x 256 mm)
Thaw Collection.

Signed in lower right in pen and black ink, "h.Daumier."

Mme Paul Meyer; Andrew Lawrence; Schweiter; Lord Rayne; Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 71, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 73.
100 Master drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum. München : Hirmer, 2008, no. 84, repr. [Jennifer Tonkovich]


Watermark: none.
Based on one of Jean de la Fontaine's Fables, Daumier's highly finished watercolor depicts the master scolding his pupil for having foolishly fallen into the Seine. The struggling boy grasps at a willow as the master harangues, illuminating La Fontaine's moral: "No matter what the task / Their precious tongues much teach / Their help in need you ask / You must first hear them preach." The artist's choice of subject was inspired by an evening in 1855 with Théodore Rousseau and Jean-François Millet, during which the three devised a plan to illustrate the Fables. Although this joint project never came to fruition, it yielded many exceptional watercolors by Daumier. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

Associated names: 

Meyer, Paul, Mrs., former owner.
Lawrence, Andrew, former owner.
Rayne, Lord, former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.

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