Honoré Daumier (French, 1808-1879)
lithograph, Sheet: 36.5 x 55 cm (14 5/16 x 21 5/8 in.); Image: 28.6 x 44 cm (11 1/4 x 17 5/16 in.). Gift of Ralph King 1924.809
Although it supported the French middle class, the government of Louis-Philippe (1773-1850) oppressed workers. The rebellion of the silk weavers of Lyon, who toiled 18 hours a day for a pittance, touched off a sympathetic revolt in Paris. During the uprising, sniper fire directed toward government troops emanated from a house on the Rue Transnonain. In retaliation, the soldiers massacred residents, including old men, women, and children, indiscriminately. In this haunting image, Daumier focused attention on the human suffering and loss of life, emphasizing the innocence of the victims and the violence of their deaths.
Between 1830 and 1835 censorship laws had been suspended, allowing Charles Philipon (1806-1862) to publish a number of periodicals like L'Association Mensuelle, where Rue Transnonain appeared. Daumier, one of the most accomplished and prolific lithographers of the 19th century, often provided caricatures criticizing contemporary political abuses or satirizing French society.
The Cleveland Museum of Art; 8/26/01-10/28/01. "Inventive Impressions: 18th- and 19th-Century French Prints".
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