Honore Daumier’s Two Lawyers, created in the 1860s, is a small oil painting on panel measuring only 13.3 x 14.6 cm. The painting exemplifies Daumier’s loose, expressive style and his interest in satirical social commentary. He was a master of lithography and caricature and used both mediums to critique bourgeois society and political figures of his time.
The two lawyers depicted in the artwork are contrasting visual types; one looks confident with an air of authority while the other appears unsure and nervous. This contrast highlights the differences in competence and success between lawyers, even though they belong to the same profession.
Daumier created many other drawings, lithographs, paintings, and sculptures depicting lawyers throughout his career. In fact, he became known as the “Michelangelo of Caricature.” Despite being one of the most original realists of his time producing over 4,000 lithographs during his life, he was not widely recognized for his achievements as an artist until much later after his death.
In summary, Two Lawyers stands out as a significant example of Daumier’s artistic style that captured societal nuances with great accuracy through visual imagery. His work remains relevant today because it honors important aspects such as inequality within professions that exist even now despite being over a century old creation.