Ratapoil, Honoré Daumier
Honoré Daumier
Ratapoil
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Honoré Daumier

Ratapoil, 1851 (1925 – 1929)


Dimensions
44.7 x 17.0 x 19.0 cm
Physical Description
Bronze
Inventory Number
St.P391
Acquisition
Acquired in 1970 with a donation by Helmut and Hedwig Goedeckemeyer
Status
Not exhibited

Texts

About the Work

Ratapoil's clothing is ragged and torn, but his pose is exaggeratedly elegant. The body of the figure seems to have become a victim of the representation of this discrepancy. This caricature of a type was politically highly controversial at the time. It shows an agent of the unofficial police troops which Louis Napoléon employed in the mid-nineteenth century in his fight for the French imperial crown. At a time in which the medium of sculpture was still strongly influenced by Classicism, Daumier created with his statuette a key work of modern sculpture which already heralds the twentieth-century trends towards abstraction and the dissolution of form.

About the Donation

Helmut Goedeckemeyer (1898–1983) began taking an interest in modern art after the First World War. In 1924 he invested six reichsmarks in a self-portrait by Käthe Kollwitz. The merchant’s collection last comprised 5,000 prints, a few drawings, and small sculptures of predominantly German and French artists. In 1959 he joined the Städelsche Museums-Verein. Earlier donations to the Collection of Prints and Drawings were followed by Daumier’s ‘Ratapoil’ in 1970.

Audio

  • 01:23
    Basic information
  • 02:08
    Focus on art history
  • 01:47
    Focus on cultural history

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Ratapoil
Sculptor (male)
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Bronze
Material
Technique

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum
Acquisition
Acquired in 1970 with a donation by Helmut and Hedwig Goedeckemeyer

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions
Associated Source
  • Le Charivari: "Proklamation von Oberst Ratapoil, Leiter der Gesellschaft der Zehn Dezember", 12. August 1850

Iconclass

Primary
  • 61B11(+4) anonymous historical person portrayed (+ caricature ~ portrait)
  • 5(+12) Abstract Ideas and Concepts (+ abstract concept represented by male figure)
  • 31A231 standing figure
  • 44F7411 'agent provocateur'
  • 57AA613 Cunning, Slyness; 'Astutia ingannevole' (Ripa)

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Last import

06.08.2019