Paris: Aubert, 1843. Honoré Daumier Depicts Rail Travel in France in the 1840'sDAUMIER, Honoré, illustrator. Les chemins de fer. [The Railways]. Paris: Aubert, 1843-44. First [only] edition, complete.Folio ( 13 1/4 x 9 7/8 inches; 335 x 251 mm.). [15, advertisements], [1, blank] pp. Sixteen fine hand-colored lithograph plates heightened with gum arabic. First plate very slightly damaged in gutter margin (slightly affecting title and just touching margin). Plates 10 & 11 with tiny pieces of lower corners torn away. A few expertly repaired small marginal tears, just one (plate 10) affecting image.Publisher's olive green ribbed cloth, covers ruled in blind, front cover decoratively lettered in gilt, inner front hinge expertly repaired. Housed in a custom-made, felt lined half green morocco clamshell case, spine with five raised bands, ruled and lettered in gilt in compartments.Excessively rare with no copies appearing at auction over the past forty years. According to OCLC there is only one copy listed in Libraries and Institutions worldwide: Bibliotheque Nationale de France. That copy is apparently uncolored.Note: according to the images shown on the Daumier Registry website, the examples shown are all uncolored with the exception of the third plate (DR. 1045).The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an oil on canvas by Honoré Daumier entitled The Third-Class Carriage. Daumier painted this between 1862 and 1864. The Third-Class Carriage is a c. 1862-1864 oil on canvas painting by Honoré Daumier, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A similar painting by Daumier with the same title is in the National Gallery of Canada.Daumier had drawn and painted images of rail travel since the 1840s. This version of The Third-Class Carriage appears to be closely related to an 1864 watercolor now in the Walters Art Museum. The painting is unfinished, and is squared for transfer.The Third-Class Carriage evidences Daumier's interest, as also seen in his graphic works, in the lives of working-class Parisians. Third-class railway carriages were cramped, dirty, open compartments with hard benches, filled with those who could not afford second or first-class tickets. In the bench facing the viewer are seated, from left, a woman holding her baby, an older woman with her hands clasped atop a basket, and a young boy asleep. Seated behind them are anonymous rows of women and men. The painting entered the Metropolitan Museum in 1929 as part of the H. O. Havemeyer bequest. (Metropolitan Museum of Art). Daumier Registry numbers 1043-1058.
(Inventory #: 04321)
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