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The Omnibus
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The Omnibus

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description The omnibus, a means of inexpensive public transportation with established routes either within a city or between cities, was introduced into Paris in the late 17th century but lasted only a few years, until 1678 (Larousse, Paris, 1898-1904, vol. 6). The idea was taken up again in the 19th century, when routes from Paris to Nantes and Bordeaux were inaugurated. After overcoming initial opposition from both the government and the public, omnibus concessions were granted again within Paris in 1828. Unlike a train, the omnibus had no seating arrangements by class. Instead, passengers could either hail the conveyance in the street or wait at a designated office along the line. In the case of the latter, riders received numbered tickets and waited for the conductor to call them in numerical order. Here, Daumier treats the inevitable conflict that arises from the mingling of the working and middle classes, in such confined quarters, with more humor than he has demonstrated in previous representations of this subject.
Date Description Narrative
1/25/1971Treatmentmounted; re-housed
10/15/1989Treatmentexamined for loan; other
10/16/1989Treatmentmounted; re-housed
5/08/1992Treatmentre-housed; other
1/01/2002Treatmentexamined for exhibition; mounted; re-housed; other
  • HonorĂ© Daumier: Exhibition of Prints, Drawings, Watercolors, Paintings, and Sculpture. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. 1958.
  • From Ingres to Gauguin: French Nineteenth Century Paintings Owned in Maryland. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1951.
  • Daumier, 1808-1879. Pennsylvania Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Philadelphia. 1937.
  • Daumier: Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture, Prints. Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton. 1961.
  • An Exhibition of the Treasures of The Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton; Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York. 1967.
  • A Baltimorean in Paris: George A. Lucas, 1860-1909. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979.
  • A Supple Brush: The Flowering of Continental Watercolors. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979.
  • A Connoisseur's Portfolio: Nineteenth-century Drawings and Watercolors in the Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1983.
  • Daumier and the Art of Caricature. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1989-1990.
  • Daumier 1808-1879. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Musee D'Orsay, Paris; The Phillips Collection, Washington. 1999-2000.
  • The Essence of Line: French Drawings from Ingres to Degas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma. 2005-2006.
Provenance Commissioned by William T. Walters (through George A. Lucas as agent), Baltimore, March 18, 1864 [1]; inherited by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931. [1] The Diary of George A. Lucas, p. 174.
Inscriptions [Signed] Upper right, in brown ink: h. Daumier; [Number] Center, reverse, in graphite: 4
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1864

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ink, watercolor, and black lithographic crayon on cream, moderately thick, moderately textured woven paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 8 3/8 x W: 11 7/8 in. (21.2 x 30.2 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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