Publisher / Artist : DAUMIER, H.
Title : Robert Macaire. Encore mes créanciers…
Published : Paris 1864
Size : 250 x 185mm.
Colouring : Uncoloured.
Condition : Lithography printed on white wove paper without text on the verso. In very good condition.
Translation in English of text title: My creditors again, always these blasted.... creditors.... it makes me climb up the wall.... what the heck do they always want from me!... I wished they left me in peace!... after all, I don't want anything from them either!!
Robert Macaire may seem to be a realistic figure, however one should remember that in reality he is an artificial personality, created in 1823 by Benjamin Antier for his play „ L’Auberge des Adrets“. The breakthrough came in 1834, when Frédéric Lemaitre used the names of Macaire and his somewhat simple partner Serres-Bertrand for his various comedies in Paris. The figure of Macaire goes back as far as 1371, when - as the legend goes - Aubri de Montdidier, a nobleman from the court of Charles V was assassinated by Macaire. The murder was vindicated by his dog, the only witness of the assassination. A duel between the dog and Macaire, who was armed with a cudgel, should settle the case. The dog killed Macaire, who confessed the murder before he died. 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.