Publisher / Artist : DAUMIER, H.
Title : Grand escalier du Palais de justice, Vue de faces.
Published : Paris, 1848
Size : 242 x 181mm.
Colouring : Uncoloured.
Condition : Lithography printed on white wove paper without text on the verso. Some minor spotting. Good impression. Size of paper : 330 x 250mm.
Third state (of 3), with text, number (36) erased. From "Les Gens de Justice", published " Chez Auber & Cie, Pl. de la Bourse,29". Text below image : Grand escalier du Palais de justice, Vue de faces. (Main Stair case of the Palace of Justice. Front view .(literally translated also: view of faces)).
"This is probably one of the most expressive lawyers prints by Daumier. There is no need to read subtitles. The drawing speaks for itself: two lawyers on the main staircase of the Palace of Justice. The older one in front has an arrogant and distant expression, almost brutal. Like the granite staircase he is as hard as a rock. The younger one in the background features already the most important attributes necessary for a successful carrier in those times: arrogance and pride."
Around the mid-1840s Daumier started publishing his famous caricatures depicting members of the legal profession, known as 'Les Gens de Justice', a scathing satire about judges, defendants, attorneys and corrupt, greedy lawyers in general. A number of extremely rare albums appeared on white paper, covering 39 different legal themes, of which 37 had previously been published in the Charivari. It is said that Daumier's own experience as an employee in a bailiff's office during his youth may have influenced his rather negative attitude towards the legal profession.
Known chiefly as a political and social satirist, Honoré DAUMIER (1808-1879) used the printmaking process of lithography, still relatively new at the time, to contribute cartoons and caricatures to French news weeklies.