Honoré Daumier, 'Les Saltimbanques'

Honoré Daumier, 'Les Saltimbanques'

Honoré Daumier (1808-79)
'Les Saltimbanques'
About 1866-7
Pen, chalk and wash
Museum no. CAI 120
Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides

Daumier made many drawings of performers at travelling fairs. In this poignant drawing a clown tries forlornly to drum up an audience. One acrobat son looks expectantly towards the distant crowd, while the other steadies the chair on which his father's drum is balanced. Their mother sits in utter dejection, resigned to the crowd's indifference.