Knife-Thrower

Honore Daumier spent his days wandering about Paris like a man with nothing to do. He rode the horsecars, peeked into Parliament and sat twirling his thumbs through the drone and drama of courtroom trials. He was looking for pictures. But he never brought paper or pencil, because Daumier found it impossible to draw what he saw. Like a photographic film, his mind absorbed pictures, and at night he would develop those mental images in furious and funny lithographs composed with an actor's flair for gesture and a sculptor's knowledge of form.

The...

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