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.
Abildgaard was his teacher and mentor in Copenhagen. Carstens and Koch became good expatriate-artist friends and mutual supporters in Rome, Koch sharing lodgings with him for a while; Lund, Eckersberg, Cornelius and Overbeck were other Rome acquaintances and colleagues. He gave Andersen a story from his own youth, when he was told off for climbing onto an equestrian statue, and also helped him get through a crisis in his writing. Byron thought Thorvaldsen’s portrait bust of him made him look too happy, Shelley considered him a bit of a poser, and Mendelssohn played piano duets with him in his studio.