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Honoré Daumier (1808-1879)
Property from the Collection of Montgomery “Montie” H.W. Ritchie
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879)

Une ronde d'enfants (Enfants dansant en rond—Ronde de jeunes filles)

Details
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879)
Une ronde d'enfants (Enfants dansant en rond—Ronde de jeunes filles)
oil and charcoal on cradled panel
10 5/8 x 8 ½ in. (26.9 x 21.6 cm.)
Painted in 1850-1853
Provenance
Louis Lemaire, Paris (by 1878 and until at least 1927).
Etienne Bignou, Paris (by 1928).
Sir William Burrell, Glasgow.
Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York.
A. Conger Goodyear, New York (by 1930).
Dr. Stephen Goodyear, New York (by descent from the above).
Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York.
Acquired by the family of the present owner, by 1968.
Literature
A. Alexandre, Honoré Daumier, L’Homme et l’oeuvre, Paris, 1888, p. 374.
E. Klossowski, Honoré Daumier, Munich, 1923, p. 116, no. 318.
R. Escholier, La vie et l'art romantiques, Daumier, Peintre et lithographe, Paris, 1923, p. 46 (illustrated).
C. Zervos, "Révisions, Honoré Daumier," Cahiers d'Art, 1928, vol. 3, p. 184 (illustrated).
E. Fuchs, Der Maler Daumier, Nachtrag, Munich, 1930, p. 48, no. 58 (illustrated).
B. Fleischmann and M. Sachs, Honoré Daumier, Vienna, 1937 (illustrated, pl. 79).
J. Adhémar, Honoré Daumier, Paris, 1954 (illustrated in color, pl. 75).
K.E. Maison, Honoré Daumier, Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolours and Drawings, New York, 1968, vol. I, pp. 79-80, no. I-51 (illustrated, pl. 28; with incorrect support).
P. Georgel and G. Mandel, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Daumier, Paris, 1972, p. 93, no. 62.
P. Cabanne, Honoré Daumier, Paris, 1999, p. 157 (illustrated in color; with incorrect support).
Exhibited
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Exposition des peintures et dessins de H. Daumier, 1878, no. 11.
Paris, Palais de l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Daumier, May 1901, no. 55 (with incorrect dimensions).
Paris, Galerie Eugène Blot, Daumier, 1908, no. 20.
Paris, Maison de Victor Hugo, Daumier et Gavarni, May-July 1923, p. 2, no. 20.
Glasgow, The McLellan Galleries, A Century of French Painting, May 1927, p. 12, no. 13.
London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre, Ltd.), Paintings and Drawings by Honoré Daumier, November 1927, no. 9.
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Corot, Daumier, October-November 1930, p. 34, no. 71 (with incorrect support).
Memphis, Dixon Gallery and Gardens (on extended loan).
The Amarillo Museum of Art, Achievement in Art, The Collection of Montgomery H.W. Ritchie, January-March 2017, p. 64 (illustrated in color, p. 34).

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Vanessa Fusco
Vanessa Fusco

Lot Essay

It was perhaps with Daumier as an exemplary precedent in mind that Charles Baudelaire exhorted artists of his day to direct their efforts away from Salon-oriented priorities such as history painting, and turn instead to the manners, morals and dress of society in their own time. Daumier had been doing precisely this since the early 1830s, but the passing parade of fashionable finery on Baron Haussmann’s recently built boulevards held little interest for him. He instead preferred, in his fervent liberal bent, to probe the underbelly of contemporary French society ever more deeply.
Une ronde d’enfants bears the hallmarks of Daumier’s distinct style. Here we observe his favored low perspective and deliberate cropping of a composition which expands loosely beyond the bounds of the canvas. His subjects’ faces are slightly deformed by the movement and their absorption in their dancing.
Daumier died in 1879, blind and impoverished, having earned little income from his art, and never having received a commission as a painter. His living conditions and status at the end of his life were doubtless a result of his courting of les classes ouvrières causes, his commitment to satire, political caricature and mocking the bourgeois. Appreciation of Daumier as a painter has chiefly developed posthumously—he is now recognized as among the first and most important of the realist painters.
Henri Loyrette sums up the artistic insurgency Daumier's work let loose when he wrote, “It was Daumier’s artistic fate to be a painter of the few. He did not enjoy the same attentive devotion or respectful reverence that quickly surrounded Ingres, Delacroix and Corot. But despite his marginal position and status as a 'curiosity', he established a line of descent that connects certain artists just as effectively as the Ingres lineage. Manet, Degas, Lautrec, Cézanne, Rouault and Picasso all owed Daumier a debt.” He continues, “And Daumier is still contemporary, when he mocks monarchies, brings the mighty low, consoles the humiliated; ...contemporary because he was of his time, 'modern,' according to Baudelaire, 'at ease in his era,' but also out of step with it, widely misunderstood. An artist for our century” ("Situating Daumier," Daumier, 1808-1879, exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1999, p. 21).
Daumier also executed a drawing representing the same scene as the present work (Maison, no. 251; fig. 1). Karl Eric Maison has written: "The composition is reversed in the drawing and shows five children instead of four. However, after having painted the little canvas [sic], the artist—with the aid of a tracing of the picture—transferred the figures of the three children on the left in the painting to the drawing and worked that group over in pen and ink in the manner of a line drawing; parts of the underlying charcoal sketch are still discernible" (op. cit., vol. II, p. 86).

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