Paul Gavarni (French, 1804-1866)1855-1857

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

Paul Gavarni was known for his witty representations of everyday life and the variety of characters to be seen in and around Paris. Here, the artist depicts a lone sailor against a rocky outcrop, looking a little awkward off shipboard in his distinctive clothes. Until the mid-19th century, enlisted sailors made and mended their own uniforms, which were intended to be simple and functional. These layered and loosely fitted garments, usually made of wool and canvas, contrasted with the dark, tailored clothing typically favored by 19th-century men.

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  • Title: Sailor
  • Creator: Paul Gavarni (French, 1804-1866)
  • Date Created: 1855-1857
  • Subject Keywords: man; portrait
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Artist: Paul Gavarni (French, 1804-1866)
  • Provenance: Hôtel Drouot; William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1865, by purchase [George A. Lucas as agent]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Object Type: drawings
  • Medium: iron gall ink and red ink with white heightening on brown, moderately thick, slightly textured wove paper
  • Inscriptions: "Gavarni" in red ink, lower left; "17" in graphite, verso
  • Exhibitions: The Essence of Line: French Drawings from Ingres to Degas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma. 2005-2006., A Baltimorean in Paris: George A. Lucas, 1860-1909. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979., Setting Sail: Drawings of the Sea from WAM. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2011.
  • Dimensions: H: 11 7/16 x W: 8 7/16 in. (29 x 21.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Acquired by William T. Walters, 1865
  • Classification: Painting & Drawing
  • Accession Number: 37.1438