A leaving do last night for M. - who's not actually leaving, just not being full-time any more. M., who teaches and runs tours about art stuff, is always good for odd morsels of story. We chatted about the Courtauld, and its glorious "Don Quixote and Sancho Panza" by Daumier, which I fell in love with on a school trip half my life ago.
M. told me that in the 1830s, Daumier covered a court case as part of his politicising against Louis-Philippe's government (he'd already been to prison for drawing Louis-Philippe on the toilet). As now, drawing was not permitted in the court room. So Daumier spent the court case with his hands in his pockets, which he'd stuffed full of clay. Just by touch, he created busts of the principle characters...
Top fact! Admittedly, couldn't corroborate this story online (though I didn't google very hard). Will probably have to read a book or something. Golly.
(I was also spellbound by "Ratapoil" when I saw it in Washington last year. Brilliantly creepy, it's just the right size to walk off with under your arm, too.)