Republic and officials - Honore Daumier. 1848
The cartoons of Daumier raised the people to the barricades, directed the political processes, contributed to changes in the government. The ruthless satirist devoted his whole life to the struggle against vices and bourgeois distortions of the bright ideals of freedom.
The middle of the 19th century is the time when nations formed in Europe in states, civil rights and freedoms are formed, the very understanding of citizenship. The appearance of allegorical images symbolizing entire nations dates back to this time. In France, thanks to Daumier, the figure of Marianne, a beautiful, strong woman who personified all of France, became popular.
The work is a sketch, which the artist completed by order of the authorities. The work was to become a decoration of the meeting room in the state parliament. The idea of the master did not like the commission. The artist's allusion to the parasitic character of the servants of the people was too transparent.
In front of the viewer is the personification of the republic, a woman-mother, and her many children. Two clung to the mother’s breast and absorbed mother’s milk with pleasure. The third is studying the book at the feet of the mother. Children are officials, servants of the nation, called upon to devote all their forces to solving state problems, to serve the republic. In fact, only one out of three children in France is involved in a difficult task (they can be identified as the three branches of government - the legislative (parliament), executive (government) and judicial). The only one of the children is the judiciary, busy studying the laws of the new revolution.