Publisher / Artist : DAUMIER, H.
Title : Caricaturana. Robert-Macaire. / Robert-Macaire. 2e série.
Published : Paris, 1836-1838 and 1840-1841
Size : 300 x 250mm.
Colouring : Uncoloured
Condition : 2 volumes in-folio ; 100 pl. - 19 pl. lithographiées ; demi-maroquin bordeaux à coins, filet doré soulignant mors et coins, dos lisse orné (Pagnant rel.). - 2 Volumes with 100 and 19 lithographed plates in contemp. half marocco.
CARICATURANA, a serie consisting of 100 numbered lithographs, which appeared in the Charivari between August 20, 1836 and November 25, 1838.
ROBERT MACAIRE (2nd series), a serie of 20 prints published in the Charivari from October 1840 to November 1841. The prints numbered 2 and 20 had also been shown in La Caricature (2nd series). The prints carry the title of the series “Robert Macaire” in the upper center, and on the upper right side: “2e Série” with the corresponding plate number.
All 100 prints of the series „Caricaturana“ were published "sur blanc" as an album in 1838 and offered to collectors. The black and white album cost 45 francs, while the colored version was offered at 55 francs.
Philipon was the author of all the texts of this series. It should be noted that Daumier did not monogram or sign the prints, presumable because Philipon wanted to document his position as author of the texts and as “inventor” of the series.
Of this series there were several separate prints sur blanc or with text au verso edited as books in various formats under the title “Les Cent-et-un Robert-Macaire”.
Daumier produced his social caricatures for Le Charivari, in which he holds bourgeois society up to ridicule in the figure of Robert Macaire, hero of a popular melodrama.
"Honore Daumier ( 1808 - 1879 ) was a French painter and sculptor but is now noted as the pre-eminent caricaturist of the 19th century . In the late 1820s he learnt the fairly new process of lithography and in 1830 contributed political cartoons to the republican, anti government weekly Caricature.
Daumier was an ardent republican and in 1832 was imprisoned for representing Louis - Philippe as Gargantua swallowing bags of gold extorted from the people. Political satire was suppressed in France in 1835 and in consequence Daumier turned to satire of social life in the daily Le Charivari; the first newspaper to be illustrated with lithographs.
In Charivari Daumier depicted a series of humorous scenes which gave a vivid and critical view of France's social classes in transition. Amongst these series was one satirizing businessmen personified in the character of Robert Macaire, an unscrupulous, flattering swindler and profiteer. Originally 100 lithographs of Robert Macaire appeared in Charivari between August 1836 and November 1838 followed by a second series between October 1840 and September 1842.
The character of Robert Macaire had first appeared in 1823 in a now largely forgotten melodrama called L' Auberge des Adrets.
The role of Robert Macaire was acted by one Frederick Lemaitre and later, in 1834, he adapted the character of Macaire within a new comic play in which two unscrupulous scoundrels trick each other. The reworked comedy was a smash hit in Paris and in turn gave Charles Philipon, the founder of Charivari, and Daumier the idea of making Robert Macaire the central character in their social satire. "
Macaire personified the clever business man, who was willing at any time to throw moral and ethical principles overboard for a quick buck. His personality fitted exactly to the period so well described by Alexis de Tocqueville: self-enrichment at all levels and a Government run on shareholders principles. Short-selling, pyramid systems, investments in Californian gold mines and IPOs of non existent companies were the name of the game. Thanks to Macaire and Bertrand, all the little tricks were demonstrated in detail to the public.