Maquette Simple: Modeling Characters in Three Dimensions

“Sculpture is really a drawing that you fall over in the dark.”

—Al Hirschfeld, THE LINE KING

Charles Philipon, editor of the French satirical magazines La Caricature and Le Charivari, commissioned the first maquettes, or three-dimensional models of a fanciful or imaginary figure. La Caricature’s April 26, 1832 issue announced a “Celebrities” series of caricature portraits. Philipon stated that the political figures would first be portrayed en maquette and the drawings would be based on the clay sculptures. Staff illustrator Honoré Daumier was assigned to produce the artwork. He created more than 35 unbaked clay caricature maquettes of contemporary politicians that have survived to ...

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