A Modern Galileo

A Modern Galileo

Lithograph, on wove paper
H.22.3 X W.27.5cm
Gift to Goya to Beijing project

Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), France

During his lifetime, besides hundreds of paintings and sculptures, Daumier created more than four thousand lithographs. 

These contributed to an extensive body of political satire and caricature popular in French journals of the period. His critique of society encompassed many aspects, from lawyers to feminists, but Daumier’s initial criticism centered upon the tightening of censorship under France’s last king, Louis-Philippe. The king, while initially believed to be a liberal monarch, was eventually revealed to be a conservative. Daumier was arrested and imprisoned for six months for a caricature mocking the king.  

The print shows Persil, Louis-Philippe’s Minister of Justice, as inquisitor to Galileo, who famously said “and yet it moves.” The truth of liberty, just like Galileo’s dictum, will prevail, despite censorship under the king.



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