Honoré Daumier, Rue Transnonain, le 15 Avril 1834, a lithograph

France, AD 1834

The brutal results of a massacre by the French government

Through most of the nineteenth century, French political caricature was heavily censored. One of the few periods of relative liberalism was during the so-called July monarchy of Louis-Philippe after 1830. His reward, inevitably, was to be so mercilessly lampooned that censorship was soon resumed. The prime left-wing journal leading the attack was La Caricature under its editor Charles Philipon, and its prize satircal draughtsman was Daumier (1808-79).

This exceptionally large print is unusual in his work, being scarcely a caricature at all. The subject, reported in a supposedly neutral way, was the repression that had followed a riot on 5 April 1834, during which a family in the working-class district of St Martin had been shot by government troops. Daumier shows the dreadful scene with remarkable skill, as the full horror only emerges as the eyes examine the dark recesses.

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More information


, Daumier 1808-1879 (Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, 1999)

B. Farwell, The charged image: French lith (Los Angeles, California Museum of Art, 1989)


Height: 290.000 mm
Width: 445.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1862-10-11-676



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