Honoré Daumier

Daumier’s wiry pen-and-ink lines aptly, and mercilessly, describe the creases on his subjects’ weary faces. This sheet appears to relate to a series of watercolors featuring bourgeois gentlemen that the artist produced for sale to collectors in the 1860s, after he was temporarily let go from the satirical French daily Le Charivari. Daumier drew constantly, often adding faces in the margins of sheets as he did here. The face to the right of the inscription at bottom is thought to represent the artist himself.

Honoré Daumier
French, 1808–1879
Study of Two Men (Spectators), 1863–65
Pen and black ink, brush and wash, and graphite, over black chalk
Richard and Mary L. Gray, promised gift to the Morgan Library & Museum
Gray Collection Trust, Art Institute of Chicago
Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.