Lot 406
  • 406

HONORÉ DAUMIER | Les Amateurs de tableaux

120,000 - 180,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Honoré Daumier
  • Les Amateurs de tableaux
  • oil on board
  • 31 x 24,4 cm; 12 1/4 x 9 5/8 in.
  • Painted circa 1858-62.


Henri Rouart, Paris (his sale: Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Paris, December 10, 1912, lot 173)
Galerie Eugène Blot, Paris
Eugène Rehns, Paris (acquired before 1930)
Private collection, Europe (by descent from the above)
Galerie Brame & Lorenceau, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2005


Erich Klossowski, Honoré Daumier, Munich, 1923, no. 362, mentioned p. 119
Eduard Fuchs, Der Maler Daumier, Munich, 1930, no. 113, illustrated pl. 113
K. E. Maison, Honoré Daumier, Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolours and Drawings, London, 1968, vol. I, no. I-132, illustrated pl. 88
Pierre Georgel & Gabriel Mandel, Tout l'œuvre peint de Daumier, Paris, 1972, no. 181, illustrated p. 103

Catalogue Note

Daumier began exploring the theme of art connoisseurs at the end of the 1850s. The artist produced at least 20 drawings as well as 30 others works which deal with this motif. This artwork takes us into what is probably one of the fourteen rooms of the auction house known as the Hôtel Drouot, which had been inaugurated on June 1, 1852. Daumier was a fine observer of the France of Balzac, of the tumultuous daily life of the rapidly changing city of Paris that the writer described so astutely in his novels published at that time. Daumier was especially aware of the emergence of a new middle-class, which brought about new amateurs and collectors of all kinds. He himself was very well-integrated in the artistic and intellectual circles of the capital. He was friends with Charles Baudelaire, Eugène Delacroix, Gerard de Nerval and Théophile Gautier, among others. They would meet at the notorious parties held by the Club des Haschischins at the Hôtel de Pimodan on the Île Saint-Louis, next to the artist’s residence. 

In Les Amateurs de tableaux, Daumier did not resort to the conventions of satire, which otherwise permeated his work. Rather, he ventured into the realms of realistic painting by depicting a scene of Parisian contemporary life far in style and subject from the classical canons of academic painting. In this work he clearly moves beyond his scathing caricatures. Daumier himself, in one of his few recorded maxims, clearly stated: “We must live in our time!” (Arsène Alexandre, Honoré Daumier, l’homme et l’œuvre, Paris, 1888, p.203)