Label Text: Honoré Daumier was instrumental in transforming lithography, a relatively new printing technology, from a medium of commercial reproduction to one of artistic expression. Exploiting the full range of tonal possibilities of the medium—from rich, velvety blacks to delicate grays—Daumier found the smooth, firm surface of the lithographic stone conducive to his expressive and nuanced use of line. Daumier quickly rose to prominence as Paris’s pre-eminent political satirist and, over a long career, created more than 4,000 lithographs for various French journals.
Not all of Daumier’s images were overtly satirical, but offered captivating glimpses of Parisian life in the mid-19th century. Nadar Raises Photography to the Level
of Art celebrates one of photography’s early masters. Nadar was passionate about both photography and ballooning, and used those skills to become a pioneer in aerial photography. In this work, Daumier captures Nadar’s flamboyant personality and dedication to photography.