Press release

Otterlo, September 02, 2019

The Kröller-Müller presents Les Parisiens. Caricatures by

Honoré Daumier

Rarely exhibited lithographs from the collection of Helene Kröller-Müller

From 21 September 2019 to 12 January 2020, the Kröller-Müller Museum presents

the exhibition Les Parisiens. Caricatures by Honoré Daumier

Pointed observations

Bickering couples, militant feminists, swaggering lawyers or ill-mannered

tourists: under the motto ‘il faut être de son temps’, Honoré Daumier (1808-1879)

depicts his Parisian contemporaries in a forthright and humorous way. Over a

period of some forty years, Daumier creates more than 4,000 lithographs in

which he uses universal themes to comment on the political and social

developments of his time. His pointed observations of his own era and

environment make him one of the most important caricaturists of the nineteenth


Ban on political cartoons

As of 1832, Daumier’s lithographs are published almost daily in satirical

newspapers such as La Caricature and Le Charivari. Daumier develops his skills

as a caricaturist under the wing of Charles Philipon, draughtsman, journalist and

founder of these newspapers. His first prints have mainly political

implications and demonstrate his antimonarchist position. When

he depicts King Louis Philippe as Gargantua – a giant on a throne who

swallows up the people’s money – he, along with his printer and publisher, receives a fine and a six-month

prison sentence. In 1835, political cartoons are banned in France and La Caricature

is temporarily discontinued.

Well-to-do bourgeoisie

Because of the censorship, Daumier has to find different subjects. From then on,

he takes aim at the behaviour of the well-to-do bourgeoisie. These caricatures

are published in various series in Le Charivari, such as Les bons bourgeois, Les

Parisiens or Les trains de plaisir.

Helene Kröller-Müller collected around 120 lithographs from series such as these.

The poor-quality newspaper on which the pictures are printed makes them very

fragile and for that reason they are seldom exhibited. Thirty lithographs have

been selected for the exhibition, arranged by series.

Editorial note: more information is available via Anneke van der Eerden, telephone

+31 (0)318-591241, +31 (0)6-12792134 or .

You can download photos from the image bank:

Information for the public:,,