Clown Playing a Drum (c. 1865-67) by Honore Daumier

Clown Playing a Drum - Honore Daumier - c. 1865-67

Artwork Information

TitleClown Playing a Drum
ArtistHonore Daumier
Datec. 1865-67
MediumBlack chalk, pen and ink, wash, watercolor, gouache, and Conte Crayon on paper
Dimensions33.5 x 25.5 cm
Current LocationThe British Museum, London

About Clown Playing a Drum

Honore Daumier, a French artist born in 1808, was known for his satirical art, often targeted towards the politics and society of 19th-century France. One of his most striking pieces is Clown Playing A Drum, painted around 1865-67. The loose and expressive style echoes other Romantic artists like Francisco Goya and Eugene Delacroix.

In this painting, an aged clown plays his drum while being ignored by bystanders; some speculate that this serves as a metaphor for the artist’s own predicament. Daumier was highly prolific in his lifetime, producing over 4000 lithographs alongside paintings, printmaking and sculptures. This particular piece is a drawing housed at The British Museum.

Daumier’s artwork often holds deeper meanings than what meets the eye. His social satire work wasn’t always well-received in its time due to its boldness; he died blind and impoverished with little appreciation from collectors or historians. However today Daumier can be recognized as an essential voice among Romantic artists who exposed the flaws within society through their artwork.

Overall, Clown Playing A Drum stands out as one of Honore Daumier’s most memorable works due to its raw emotionality which touches on universal themes that still resonate with people today: isolation and rejection despite one’s best efforts. It is truly representative of the powerful impact that Daumier had on both art history and popular culture through his attention to detail and innate understanding of human nature.

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