(b. 1808, Marseille, d. 1879, Valmondois)

Ratapoil (rear view)

c. 1850
Bronze, height 38 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Daumier's sculptures evince a liking for caricature, but he used it as a political weapon. The plaster of Ratapoil, "a synthesis of the shady agent, of the indefatigable auxiliary of Napoleonic propaganda," was hidden throughout the Second Empire and only reappeared in 1878, but it immediately served as point of departure for caricatures which appeared in the satirical journals of the period.