Sunday, June 8, 2014
Daumier's Clay Busts and some doubtful Figurines
Daumier was known during his life for his drawings, political cartoons, caricatures. I’m pretty sure these sculptures were never shown publicly during his life. Even his paintings were hardly known when he was working, though they quickly gained the interest and admiration of Degas. He of course had an enormous influence on Degas and Forain.
I’ve been doing a lot of sculpture in clay lately, and though I was thinking more of Nadelman, they came out looking more like Daumier, not these above, but the ones that many regard as forgeries, the statuettes in the Gobin Collection. These here are all in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay.
These are the suspect statuettes that have been cast in bronze and editioned fairly recently. They're certainly in the spirit of Daumier and look very different from the various kitsch figurines that are based on his great drawings. I'm not ashamed that the figures I'm doing (for my video, the Old Curiosity Shop) should look at all like these expressive creatures.
These last two are of course authentic works by the secretive master; and I figured it was nice to see them in plaster and bronze both. The great bas relief at the bottom is called the Emigrants (or Fugitives.)