Stanford University Hosts “When Artists Attack the King” Exhibition

August 22, 2012
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Source: Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

If you live near or are visiting Stanford University in the near future, you should take advantage of a free exhibition of various works by 19th century French caricaturist Honore Daumier. Daumier’s works often reflected political and social satire, and he often faced legal persecution as a result of his caricatures.

Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center website describes the exhibit:

Long before Iranian cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraiyeh was sentenced to 25 lashings for drawing a parliament member in a soccer jersey, 19th-century caricaturist Honoré Daumier and his colleagues at the weekly Paris journal La Caricature endured prison sentences, fines, and litigation for their scathing portraits of king Louis-Philippe I of France, who came to power after the Revolution of 1830. The Cantor Arts Center presents 50 of these pioneering satirical works in “When Artists Attack the King: Honoré Daumier and La Caricature, 1830–1835,” which opens August 1.

The website further describes Daumier’s mockery of the French monarchy:

The show’s most provocative prints represent the king as la poire, a bulbous pear. But the artists mercilessly lampooned everything about the July Monarchy, as Louis-Philippe’s reign was known—its ministers, their censorship of the press, their role in the inequalities of French society. The tone in the presented works ranges from mocking to outraged: from depictions of government officials as marionettes to the gruesome aftermath of government troops shooting an entire working-class family after a riot.

The exhibition is at the Cantor Arts Center located off Palm Drive at Museum Way on the Stanford campus, which is open Wednesday t0 Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays to 8 p.m., according to the center’s website. Admission is free, and parking is free after 4 p.m. weekdays, and all day during the weekend. The exhibit lasts through November 11, 2012.

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Justin Brown is a journalism graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is currently enrolled in Point Park’s journalism and mass communications graduate program.