Ratapoil, Honoré Daumier
Honoré Daumier
Ratapoil
DE
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Honoré Daumier

Ratapoil, 1851 (casting 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
On display, Department of Prints and Drawings Exhibition Gallery

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 Acquisition

Immediately after World War I, the art connoisseur and bibliophile Helmut Goedeckemeyer (1898–1983) began amassing one of the largest collections of prints by Käthe Kollwitz. He supplemented these holdings with works of late nineteenth-century French and German printmaking, illustrated books by Max Slevogt, Alfred Kubin and others, and small-scale sculptures by such artists as Aristide Maillol. His collection ultimately encompassed more than 5,000 works. Goedeckemeyer’s close ties to the Städel Museum date back to the 1920s. From 1959 onwards, he and his wife Hedwig were members of the Städelscher Museums-Verein (Städel Museum Association). The City of Frankfurt acquired his Kollwitz collection for the Städtische Galerie (Municipal Gallery) in 1964. He made several gifts to the Städel collection of prints and drawings over the years, and in 1970 presented the museum with Honoré Daumier’s “Ratapoil” (inv. no. St.P391).

Audio

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

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Ratapoil
Sculptor (male)
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Bronze
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
auf der Plinthe: "Alexis Rudier / Fondeur PARIS", "9/20"

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Departement
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
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 update

23.04.2024