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Watercolour - Les Saltimbanques
  • Les Saltimbanques
    Daumier, Honoré, born 1808 - died 1879
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Les Saltimbanques

  • Object:

    Watercolour

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1866-67 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Daumier, Honoré, born 1808 - died 1879 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour drawing

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by C. A. Ionides

  • Museum number:

    CAI.120

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The great French graphic artist Honoré Daumier made many drawings of saltimbanques (performers at fairs). In this poignant drawing an ageing clown bangs a drum balanced precariously on a chair, in the hope of attracting an audience. One acrobat son looks expectantly towards the distant crowd, while the other steadies the chair for his father. Their mother, however, sits in utter dejection, resigned to the crowd's indifference.

Physical description

Watercolour drawing of a family of circus performers outdoors at a fair. In the centre a middle-aged clown bangs a drum which is precariously balanced on a chair. He is accompanied by two boys, one standing to the left, the other sitting on the ground to the right. A middle-aged woman sits on the far left in an attitude of dejection. The clown and standing boy look towards a crowd of people in the middle distance.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

ca. 1866-67 (made)

Artist/maker

Daumier, Honoré, born 1808 - died 1879 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour drawing

Marks and inscriptions

Signed h. Daumier in the left-hand lower corner

Dimensions

Height: 33.7 cm, Width: 39.7 cm

Object history note

Acquired by Constantine Alexander Ionides by 1878; lent in 1878 by Ionides to Daumier exh. at Durand-Ruel in Paris, cat no. 203); in his inventory of 1881 (private collection) as 'Les Saltimbanques' with a valuation of £100; Bequeathed by C.A. Ionides, 1900

Descriptive line

Daumier, Saltimbanques, ca.1866-67, watercolour

Materials

Pen and ink and watercolour; Chalk

Techniques

Drawn

Subjects depicted

Clowns; Performers; Performing artists; Fairground

Collection code

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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