Art against censorship

Honoré Daumier, comedy, and resistance in nineteenth-century France

By Erin Duncan-O'Neill

Art against censorship
Hardcover +
  • Price: £30.00
  • ISBN: 9781526168399
  • Publish Date: Jul 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback +
  • Price: £30.00
  • ISBN: 9781526176011
  • Publish Date: Jul 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £30.00
  • ISBN: 9781526168382
  • Publish Date: Jul 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6838-2
    • Published Date: July 2024


    Honoré Daumier (1808-79), who was imprisoned early on for a politically offensive cartoon, painted scenes from seventeenth-century theatre and literature at moments of stifling censorship later in his career. He continued to find form for dangerous political dissent in the face of intense and shifting censorship laws by drawing on La Fontaine, Molière, and Cervantes, masters of dissimulation and critique in a newly glorified literary past. This book reveals new connections between legal repression and subversive fine-arts practice, showing the force of Daumier's role in the broader stories of image-text relationships and political expression.


    'This in-depth study of literary references in the work of Honoré Daumier - Molière, la Fontaine, Cervantes - offers a compelling tale of subversive political satire in the face of censorship.'
    Judith Wechsler, author of A Human Comedy: Physiognomy and Caricature in Nineteenth Century Paris

    'Art against censorship offers an important reassessment of Honoré Daumier's work as caricaturist and painter. Focusing on the many literary allusions and references in the artist's expansive oeuvre, Duncan-O'Neill affirms both the complexity of graphic satire in nineteenth-century France and the deftness with which Daumier deployed coded cultural references in conveying political messages at times of heightened censorial control. In its interrogation of the interplay between seventeenth-century literature and nineteenth-century visual culture, the book not only enhances our understanding of the work of Daumier but also offers new perspectives on the cultural afterlives of Molière, Cervantes, La Fontaine and Rabelais. Art against censorship makes a powerful case for the continued vitality and importance of culture as a form of dissent, and as a means of speaking truth to power.'
    Laura O'Brien, author of The Republican Line: Caricature and French Republican Identity, 1830-52


    1 The comic mask
    2 Fables and La Fontaine
    3 Molière's whisper / Daumier's clamour
    4 Painting Quixote


    Erin Duncan-O'Neill is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Oklahoma

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