The bizarre and fantastic illustration of Grandville (the pen-name of Jean-Ignace-Isidore Gérard) anticipated the later work of the Surrealists; Breton and Bataille saw him as a significant precursor. His more overtly political work often led to attempts at suppression. Daumier, friend as well as colleague, worked alongside him on the journal ‘La Caricature’. The young prodigy Doré, whom Grandville met as a teenager, found him inspirational. Dumas also knew him, and described him as melancholic and reserved, adding that he smoked and drank little.
Daumier worked alongside Balzac and Grandville on a comic journal, becoming close with Balzac, whose work he later illustrated. Delacroix admired him, and owned paintings by him. He stayed with Rousseau in Barbizon, and was friends with Gautier and Baudelaire. He worked with Manet, Courbet and Corot to improve official exhibition rules. Hugo organised a major exhibition of his drawings, paintings and sculptures; financially unsuccessful, it encouraged a younger generation. His lifelong friend Corot is said to have bought for Daumier the cottage in which, blind and impoverished, he lived out his last years, though the exact facts are disputed.