Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) was without question the great satirical printmaker of nineteenth-century France. His sharp satirical eye and talent as a draftsman are the focus of an exhibition, on view in the Theater Gallery, of lithographs drawn entirely from the collection of the Berkeley Art Museum. Although he worked as a lithographer from an early age, it was Daumier's wry social observations that first brought him to public attention, notably with the work he began producing in 1831 for the satirical journal La Caricature, a newspaper with leanings toward Republicanism. By the age of twenty-three, Daumier had earned himself a six-month jail sentence for his critiques of the French government, and wide notoriety for his lampoons of the foibles and bad behavior of politicians, lawyers, art dealers, and the middle class generally. Two years later he took up lithography as the principal focus of his creative energies, a passion that would continue to the end of his life with the production of nearly 4,000 works in this medium. Daumier's social commentary may have begun with straightforward realism but it went far beyond this, exploring the human condition with remarkable profundity and variety while satirizing the inequalities of nineteenth-century French society. This exhibition of lithographs is drawn primarily from the work Daumier carried out for the journal Le Charivari, and examines not only the clarity and lyricism of his technique, but also his sensitivity to the plight of the poor. Such social sensibilities can largely be placed in the context of a rapidly developing urban, industrial society in France that displaced its agrarian past and often disinherited its people-the same context in which the Impressionist painters worked a generation later. Lithography is one of the most modern of reproductive media. It was invented only in 1798, in Germany, making Daumier one of its first and most important practitioners. Lithography allows for quick, painterly strokes, and the finished image often conveys a sense of energy, a quality that is highly characteristic of Daumier's work with its interest in capturing the unrehearsed moment, the unguarded expression. By the 1830s lithography was in widespread use for newspaper illustration (as well as for collectible prints), and thus speaks compellingly to the mass consumption of visual images. The newsprint images on view here contain a raw energy, spontaneity, and candor that make them the equivalent of snapshot photography in the twentieth century.