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Honoré Daumier
The Hellwig Collection

24 Jan 2024–12 May 2024

About the Exhibition

Daumier’s commitment to republican ideas, the press and freedom of speech, his fervent interest in modern innovations, and his critical but also profoundly human view of the circumstances of the times are impressively visualized in the artist’s caricatures. The Städel Museum presented 120 works by Honoré Daumier from an outstanding private collection, the Hellwig collection.

The Hellwig collection stands out for its exceptional quality. It spans the entire breadth of the artist’s oeuvre with lithographs, drawings, sculptures, and two paintings—many of which have never been publicly shown. Of particular note among the Hellwig collection holdings are its unique prints. Accompanied by handwritten legends and printers’ and censors’ marks, they provide fascinating insights into the complex publishing process for illustrations. To mark the 125th anniversary, the entire collection will be donated as a jubilee bequest to the Städelscher Museums-Verein, which in turn gave it to the Städel Museum on permanent loan, where it will be preserved, researched and presented. The Städel Museum exhibition featured from the Hellwig collection Daumier’s well-known lithographs, including “Le Passé – le présent – l’avenir” (1834) and “Rue Transnonain, le 15 avril 1834” (1834), in which the artist forcefully indicted the politics of King Louis-Philippe, as well as the artist’s influential genre caricatures and his timeless allegories of diplomacy as a frail lady or a personification of Europe trying to maintain her balance. In addition to his graphic oeuvre, Daumier also made sculptures, and starting in the mid-1840s, an increasing number of independent drawings and paintings, which reveal the expressiveness, diversity and inventiveness of his art.

Dr Astrid Reuter (Head of the Prints and Drawings before 1800, Städel Museum)


Sponsors & Partners

Sponsored by
Städelscher Museums-Verein e. V.

Culture Partner