Lot 1
  • 1

Honoré Daumier

200,000 - 300,000 USD
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  • Honoré Daumier
  • Ratapoil
  • Inscribed Daumier, numbered 15 and stamped with the foundry mark Siot Decauville Fondeur Paris
  • Bronze
  • Height: 17 3/8 in.
  • 44.1 cm


Knoedler & Co., New York

Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, New York (sold: Sotheby's, New York, Impressionist and Modern Art from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, May 10, 1999, lot 6)

Acquired at the above sale


Arsène Alexandre, Honoré Daumier, L'Homme et l'Oeuvre, Paris, 1888, illustration of the plaster p. 196

Gustave Geffroy, "Daumier," Revue de l'Art Ancien et Moderne, no. 158, Paris, 1901, no. 21, illustration of another cast

Gustave Geffroy, L'Art et les Artistes, Paris, 1905, illustration of another cast

Kurt Bertels, Honoré Daumier, als Lithograph, Munich and Leipzig, 1908, fig. 53, illustration of another cast

Honoré Daumier, Appreciation of his Life and Works (exhbition catalogue), The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., 1922

Erich Klossowski, Honoré Daumier, Munich, 1923, no. 459, illustration of another cast

Raymond Escholier, Daumier Peintre et Lithographe, Paris, 1923

Eduard Fuchs, Der Maler Daumier, New York, 1930, illustration of the plaster p. 171; illustration of another cast pl. 172a

Pierre Courthion, Daumier raconté par lui-même et ses amis, Paris, 1945, illustration of another cast p. 161

Maurice Gobin, Daumier Sculpteur, Geneva, 1952, no. 61, illustrations of the plaster and other another cast pp. 294-99

Jean Adhémar, Honoré Daumier, Paris, 1954, no. 36, illustration of another cast

Peter A. Wick, ed., Honoré Daumier, Anniversary Exhibition (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1958, no. 22, illustration of another cast

Robert Rey, Honoré Daumier, London, 1966, no. 53, illustration of another cast p. 44

Jeanne L. Wasserman, Daumier Sculpture, A Critical and Comparative Study (exhbition catalogue), The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 1969, nos. 37a & 37d, illustrations of the plaster and another cast pp. 162 & 166

Luigi Barzini, L'Opera pittorica completa di Daumier, Milan, 1971, illustration of another cast p. 86

Roger Passeron, Daumier, témoin de son temps, Paris, 1979, no. 100, illustration of another cast p. 169

Elizabeth Mongan, Daumier in Retrospect, 1808-1879 (exhibition catalogue of the Armand Hammer Daumier Collection), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1979, illustrations of another cast p. 170

Marcel Lecomte, Daumier Sculpteur, Les Figurines et autres sculptures, Paris, 1979, nos. 67 & 68, illustrations of other casts

Jürgen Schultze & Annemarie Winther, ed., Honoré Daumier, Kunst und Karikatur (exhibition catalogue), Ausstellung Kunsthalle, Bremen, 1979-80, no. 16, illustration of another cast

Horst Waldemar Janson & Peter Fusco, The Romantics to Rodin, Los Angeles, 1980, illustration of another cast p. 208

Honoré Daumier & Georges Rouault (exhibition catalogue), Accademia di Francia a Roma, Rome, 1983-84, illustration of another cast p. 44

Nicholas Penny, Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 1540 to the Present Day, vol. 2, Oxford, 1992, no. 274, illustration of another cast p. 35

Colta Ives, Margret Stuffmann & Martin Sonnabend, Daumier Drawings (exhibition catalogue), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1993, illustrations of another cast pp. 28-29

Daumier 1808-1879 (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris & The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., 1999-2000, illustration of another cast p. 283; illustration of the original plaster p. 286


This work is in excellent condition. Rich brown patina. The sculpture is structurally sound and no disturbances to the surface are visible.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Ratapoil, Daumier's most riveting sculpture, has come to represent an archetype of nineteenth century European culture. As Édouard Papet describes, "With Ratapoil, Daumier invented the 'type' of the political adventurer, the 'synthesis of the shady agent, the untiring henchman of Napeolonic propaganda,' haunting the boulevards and cafés...'" (Daumier 1808-1879 (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, op. cit., p. 284).

The history of the early casts of this sculpture imply that there were two editions cast by the Siot Decauville foundry in the 1890s - the first of these was an edition of about six and the second was an edition of about twenty. The current cast comes from this second edition. Two subequent editions of the bronze, cast by Rudier in the 1920s and Valsuani in the 1950s, are less crisp in the form and details of the sculpture.