25.04.16 – Lecture: Crafts, riots and revolutions

25.04.2016 – 18:00

Crafts, riots and revolutions: The representation of labourers in Daumier (1830-1870)

Lecture by Davide Lombardo

The lecture is an attempt to contribute to framing the issue of modern representation of labour looking at the images of work and workers in the art of Honoré Daumier. As most intellectuals growing up in the France of restoration, and then having to confront themselves with the Bourgeois monarchy and with the revolution of 1848, Daumier , like Flaubert or Baudelaire was confronted with the problem of representing modern life and with the necessity of renewing the conventions of the representing “work”. In fact in pre and post revolutionary France (and Europe) it is possible to retrieve a large production of images describing labourers. This tradition, present, in both popular woodcuts and elite targeted etchings, belongs to what we could call an ethnography of arts and crafts that was widespread and popular. These existing conventions could and would be adopted and twisted for radical representations, yet in Daumier’s lithographs we can also elements of more modernist vanguard explorations of the issue.