A sunny day in July on the banks of the Seine. The winery and fishing village Chatou was connected by rail since 1837 with the capital some 10 km away, and enjoyed great popularity among the Parisians. The gravel beach and calm water in the river bend and fishing spots invited to sport and fun. The ginguettes - village pubs with music - made for the physical well-being. In mid-July, Daumier and his friend Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (16/07/1796 - 02/22/1875), and perhaps also Daubigny, travelled to Chatou to spend a leisurely day. They ate and drank, discussed, explored the area in search of interesting scenic motives, rowed and tried their luck with fishing.


Daumier was not a fisherman. He rather sat in the shadow under a tree and with a mischievous smile did sketches of people who stood patiently at the bank of the river and fished. Corot was also there, immobile and concentrated with an empty creel. A good opportunity for Daumier to perpetuate his friend in a sketchbook and to hand him the drawing as a birthday gift.


The story may have possibly occurred in a similar manner. There is no doubt that Corot had enjoyed being in Chatou. Some images, such as The railway bridge of Chatou clearly attest to this. The fact is that here we have a lithograph that was published almost simultaneously with Corot's birthday. The two days in between would have been just enough to prepare the lithographic stone and to do all the work involved.


Daumier already had a very similar drawing of an angler from 1844 (see DR1240). Thus, it was easy to replace the figures and to transform the angler into Corot with a hint of his facial features.