Lithograph After Honoré Daumier "The Triumph of a Lawyer"
This vintage lithograph is an excellent later impression of one by Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), a French artist probably best known for his caricatures of his fellow countrymen, such as this one. Around the mid-1840's Daumier started publishing his famous caricatures depicting members of the legal profession, which were known as "Les Gens de Justice" (The People of Justice)--satires about attorneys, judges and the accused defendants. Daumier worked for a time in a bailiff's office, which may be the source of his sarcasm.
Written at the bottom left in the plate are the initials h.D. along with Les beaux jours de la vie (The good days of life) and Un triomphe d'avocat (The triumph of a lawyer). The lawyer is embracing his scruffy client, whom he just managed to get acquitted, while the grateful client is picking his attorney's pocket. Beneath the image's border at bottom left in pencil is 123/500 and at bottom right is the signature in pencil "de h daumier".
The lithograph is in the frame that we found it in, but because the backing was a piece of red cardboard (presumably not acid free and definitely quite ugly) and the litho was taped to it, we had a professional framer use acid free materials and non-glare glass and a hanging wire with hanger and nail to complete the framing. Fortunately, the tape was removed easily but there is toning around the edges because of it, which does not show when the litho is in its frame. We decided to take a photograph while it was out of the frame so you could see the toning. It's framed without a mat.
The overall measurements are 16 1/4 inches tall, 13 1/4 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches high. The elegant wooden frame is 1 3/4 inches wide, finished in antique gold speckled with burgundy and an inset line of solid matte burgundy trim. Both the lithograph and the frame are in very good condition. A pleasure to own and a wonderful gift--especially for a lawyer.
Note: The word "after" in the title refers to the fact that the lithograph was made after the artist's lifetime.