The Market: 12 Francs, Plus Interest

France's Honoré Daumier had a way of drawing out the nobility of commonfolk and the commonness of nobility from beneath wrinkles and warts. Dela croix used his works as models for copy ing. In admiration, Novelist Honoré de Balzac said of him: "That fellow has Michelangelo under his skin." Yet the world's most famous satirist with brush and pen cost his country 12 francs in 1879 to be put into a pauper's grave.

At Paris' Palais Galliera last week, Daumier earned back the 12 francs, with interest, as the largest group of his...

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