Honoré Daumier. Original matrix in wood engraved of the “Journalist” from “Les Cent et un Robert-Macaire” with a beautiful copy.

Daumier. Bois gravé "Le journaliste".


Daumier. Bois gravé "Le journaliste".

Honoré Daumier. Robert-Macaire journaliste. Engraved wooden matrix monogrammed “h D”, no date [ca. 1836], with on the back the handwritten mention in ink: “Daumier / Robert Macaire / Banquier “, then, upside down and by another hand: “page 225 “. (Dim. 14,5 x 20,4 x 2,4 cm).

This wood, which we did not find any print, was used in lithographic print with many variants in the series “Les Robert-Macaires par Daumier & Ch. Philipon, galerie morale des voleurs, spéculateurs, dupeurs, tireurs, enfonceurs et blagueurs divers que nous rencontrons dans Paris “, Caricaturana n°3, published in lithographic reduction under the n° 12 from Les Cent et un Robert-Macaire, in Paris, by Aubert et Cie, editors of the Museum for Laughs, in 1839, 2 vol. in-4°. The lithograph is entitled “Robert-Macaire journalist”, and not “banker”, “Robert-Macaire banquier” being illustrated quite differently. Would Daumier have changed the destination of his cartoon?, or is it an engraver or printer error??

Our Robert-Macaire “journalist” is nevertheless rather boss of the press than editor, hence perhaps the term “Banquier” on the back of the wood.. He sits in front of his desk, wrapped in an extravagant dressing gown, standing nonchalantly in an armchair. He points to a poster on a cabinet bearing in large letters “La Blague / Journal / Physionomie / Actions ». In front of him, as caricatured Charles Philipon, (cf. his bust-charge by Daumier), the Director of the Charivari and designer of Robert-Macaire, Rigobert is sitting on a chair, very rigid, his hat and cane in hand; behind, “straight as a common wall”, Bertrand, the servant of Robert-Macaire, a feather duster under his arm, carefully removing the wallet of the unfortunate visitor. Robert-Macaire tries to convince his friend, founder of provincial newspapers that never appeared and who had “up to seven subscribers in [his] department », to enter the capital of his Parisian newspaper. He develops with ease and aplomb his smokey and extravagant combinations. Daumier’s mischievous nod to his friend Charles Philipon, author of the legends of the Robert-Macaire, including that of No. 100, “Robert-Macaire chez Monsieur Daumier” defining the collection, « faithful portrait of a crowd of rascals that can be found everywhere, in trade, in politics, in finance, everywhere! everywhere!!…», here himself a victim of this rascal!

Daumier. Les Cent et un Robert-Macaire. "Le journaliste".

Daumier. Bois gravé "Le journaliste". Inversé.
Inverted representation

Beyond dimensions, larger than those in the print of the edition of 1839 (11,2 x 13,7 cm), and smaller than the lithograph published by Daumier in Le Charivari on 10 septembre 1836 (23,7 x 27 cm), our wood has many differences with lithographs, such the monogram of the cartoonist that does not appear on the lithos. The face of Robert-Macaire is uncovered, Bertrand’s is more expressive, the text of the newspaper has changed (such as “Physiognomy” instead of “Physionotype”), also differ the seat of Rigobert, the position of Robert-Macaire’s legs, the desk, etc.

Hazard & Delteil, Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre lithographié de Honoré Daumier, p. 235, 991. III. [for publication in Le Charivari, 10 septembre 1836].

Reverse discharge fragments of a red advertising label on the back of the wood.

Daumier. Bois gravé "Le journaliste".


Honoré Daumier [–  Charles Philippon & Maurice Alhoy – Louis Huart]. Les Cent et un Robert-Macaire composés et dessinés par M. CH. [sic] Daumier sur les idées et légendes de M. Ch. Philipon, réduits et lithographiés par MM. ***, texte par MM. Maurice Alhoy et Louis Huart. Paris, Aubert et Cie, editors of the Museum for Laughs, 1839. 2 parts in 1 unpaginated in-4° volume of 3 ff., 50 deliveries of 4 pp., 2 pp. table, 1 f. ; 3 ff., 51 deliveries of 4 pp., 2 pp. table, 1 f. Text framed by a double black net. Purple long grain half-morocco with corners, romantic smooth back, gilt title, gilt year, double gilt fillet on the covers, combed spines, the 1st cardboard cover covered with yellow paper illustrated by Célestin Nanteuil has been preserved. (Pouillet).

Daumier. Les Cent et un Robert-Macaire.

Copy illustrated in black; the plates of this publication are the reduction of 100 lithographs published by Daumier, with the legends of Philipon, . 1836 to 1838. Each lithograph is numbered.

Some differences with the description made by Vicaire: the name of the printer is on the v° of the 2th half title, and not on the v ° of the false title, the words “fin du premier volume” are on the front, and not on the back of the last f. and the copy is without the 2 pp. of publications by Aubert and Cie, finally, the printer names do not appear on reported deliveries.

Daumier. Les Cent et un Robert-Macaire.

“This is the exact painting of the voleries of our time., it is the faithful portrait of a crowd of rascals that can be found everywhere, in trade, in politics, In the bar, in finance, everywhere, everywhere…” (n° 100, « Robert-Macaire chez monsieur Daumier »). According to Deltteil, “perhaps the most popular series of Daumier’s work”, “the one who was unanimously nicknamed, the “Michelangelo of satire”.

Copy remarkably bound by Louis Charles Alexandre Pouillet (Paris, 1841-1910), active in Paris around 1870 at 5 rue du Pont-de-Lodi, then in 3 cours du Commerce-Saint-André. At his death, his daughter took over her workshop and worked until 1950.

Bibliothèque du château de Rozais

Ex-libris, engraved by Henry André, from the library of the Château des Rozais 1908, residence of the Reims family of Louis Pommery who had it built in 1869 by architect Alphonse Gosset, in Rilly-la-Montagne, where he built a library rich in nearly 6 000 works.

Vicaire, Manuel de l’amateur de livres du XIXe siècle, I, 31-32 and VI, 572-576 ; Delteil, Manuel de l’amateur d’estampes du XIXe & du XXe siècles, I, 174-175 and 181.

Some burnished notebooks, few foxes; some very slight frictions at the binding.

Beautiful copy.