* * * H I S T O I R E * A N C I E N N E * * * * * * Daumier and the ancient Greeks * * *


the famous and hilarious series of caricatures by

      HONORÉ  DAUMIER   (1808 - 1879)


In the GALLERY section of this website you will see the entire HISTOIRE ANCIENNE series. For detailed information about each caricature go to The Daumier-Register work catalogue


 If you wish to buy and collect original DAUMIER caricatures from the HISTOIRE ANCIENNE series or any other subject we recommend The DaumierGallery where you will find a great selection of quality lithographs


See here below "DAUMIER, OFFENBACH AND THE ANCIENT GREEKS", the video on HISTOIRE ANCIENNE produced by the Daumier-Register:




A quarrel between painters of the classic and romantic schools had fully flared up. Delacroix asked the "loaded" question: “Qui me délivrera des Grecs et des Romains?” (Who redeems us from the Greeks and Romans?). Daumier succeeded to answer it his own way by showing historic personalities such as Hercules, Pygmalion or Agamemnon in absurd situations. It was his method to put history into perspective.

In December 1841, the Charivari announced the arrival of this series as follows: “We have sent Monsieur Daumier to Greece, alone and without any scientific support. He worked day and night to reveal the Greek soul of the past.... Daumier brings antiquity back to us”.

The lithographs of the series „HISTOIRE ANCIENNE“ were published between 1841 and 1843. Daumier was far ahead of his time when he started as one of the first to show how relative the importance of Greek and Roman Mythology can be in a modern world. The admirers of ancient history especially in Arts however were not dissipated easily. It would take another 15 years until Baudelaire in literature and Offenbach in music de-mystified the “old Greeks” and removed the centuries old dust from them.