C'est sous ce titre "Monsieur Daumier... you are fired ! " que le site Daumier Register fondé et animé par
"Dear Monsieur Daumier….. I am sorry, but you are fired."
It happens to the best, as we all know. To Daumier, it happened in February1860. His boss, Charles Philipon, who may have been better as an administrator of the Charivari than as an artist (as he had secretly aspired), published his justification for the dismissal more than a year later, on September 21, 1861 in the “Journal Amusant” on page 7 and 8. The reason given was: “lack of imagination”. To put an extra topping on the belated explanation the article was entitled sarcastically: “Abdication de Daumier I “.
Little did Philipon know how much his decision would transmogrify Daumier’s life at its roots! Daumier’s fascination with painting and drawing was over many years asphyxiated due to constant pressure to deliver a plethora of caricatures to the Charivari and it eventually became a central motivation in his evolution as a painter and draughtsman. Still, at the same period, while being on the cusp of becoming the famous painter now so cherished by us, some of his finest lithographs appeared in “Le Boulevard”, and some of his highly important political prints appeared in the “Album du Siège” around 1870/71. Lack of imagination?