Artwork recovered and returned to Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane - In the Omnibus by Honoré Daumier

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Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane together with Criminal Assets Bureau is delighted to announce the return of In the Omnibus by the French artist Honoré Daumier (1808 – 1879). This beautiful drawing in watercolour and gouache was stolen from the Gallery in 1992 and recovered by CAB late last year. In the Omnibus is part of the original collection presented by Hugh Lane to Dublin for the Gallery of Modern Art which first opened to the public in 1908.   

“We are delighted to have In the Omnibus returned” says Barbara Dawson director of the Gallery. “It was such a shock when it was stolen and we had messages of sympathy from galleries and museums in Ireland and around the world.  We are very pleased to have it on exhibition again for all our audiences to enjoy. Daumier is a very significant artist whose powerful realism and social consciousness continues to have relevance today. Our congratulations and thanks to the members of CAB for their outstanding detective work in finding In the Omnibus”.

“The Criminal Assets Bureau wishes to thank the Hugh Lane Gallery for their kind words of appreciation.  The Bureau is particularly pleased that as part of its investigative work in 2013, this significant piece of artwork has been recovered and restored to the gallery, having been stolen in 1992. I wish to express my congratulations to the Bureau Officers involved in the investigation and in particular to Detective Garda Philip Galvin whose investigative work led directly to the recovery of this piece of artwork” said Detective Chief Superintendent Eugene Corcoran, Chief Bureau Officer, Criminal Assets Bureau.


Fennel photography will circulate photos to photo desks today.

For further information contact:

Dublin City Council Media Relations Office Tel. (01) 222 2170, M. 087 740 0277  

Notes to the Editor:

Based in Paris, Honoré Daumier was a famed chronicler of modern French urban life. He began his career as a satirist criticising the social, legal and political systems in France under King Louis Philippe. His caricature of Louis Philippe as Gargantua eating gold coins saw Daumier imprisoned for six months and the journal La Caricature closed down.  As well as his lithographs, Daumier also created drawings, paintings and sculpture and was part of the French artistic avant garde which included Courbet, Daubigny and Corot, artists which Hugh Lane also collected for the Hugh Lane Gallery. Corot became a great friend and supporter of Daumier particularly later life. Daumier’s drawing reveal his virtuoso in capturing his subject matter with open, free,  linear compositions and  his effective and original use of light and shade in building up atmosphere and subject matter places him firmly at the vanguard of 19th century art. As well as his concerns with social and political life Daumier also captures the effects of industrialisation and images of motorised public transport first appeared in his art in 1840s. In the Omnibus shows a crowded group of workers and a young child in quiet contemplation as they travel through the city. Built up in watercolour and crayon, factual and direct, the simple scene is has a powerful resonance as social commentary. A similar drawing also titled In the Omnibus by Daumier is in the collection of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore U.S.A. Daumier is represented in public collections worldwide including the Louvre, The Metropolitan Museum New York and The National Gallery London.