Van Gogh •
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Honore Daumier was born in Marseilles. His family moved to Paris when he was still just a small boy and Honore was forced to work very early in life
because his father found it difficult to support a large family. Young Daumier worked first as a bailiff's clerk and then as an assistant in a bookshop. But his greatest and most passionate desire was to draw. However, when he finally received some art training, he found it boring and took to visiting the Louve and walking about Paris studying faces. A friend taught him the technique of lithography and Daumier began contributing to the press at the age of sixteen. This was the start of a career that was to last all his life, for he turned out hundreds of satirical cartoons that were impartially critical of all kinds of people, professions, and occupations.
Daumier was not only a brilliant lithographer; he also created small, vital statuettes and, between 1848 and 1870, he painted about one hundred oils.
The latter are romantic in subject, free and dynamic in brushwork, striking in the use of contrast, and pervaded with a feeling for humanity as powerful as that of Rembrandt, whom he admired tremendously. Daumier's oils were not, as has sometimes been said, unknown to the public at large. He contributed regularly to the Salons, but the very vitality of his work and the bold brushwork with which his paintings were executed did not please the public, who continued to prefer his cartoons.