At the time this painting was made, popular stories celebrated noble outcasts as victims of social circumstances beyond their control. Here, the robber is a defeated man who may have turned to stealing to feed the child he so tenderly shelters under his arm. Isolated in a harsh, rocky landscape, the figures invite our sympathy.


  • Title: The Robber and His Child
  • Creator Lifespan: 1808/1880
  • Creator Nationality: German
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Creator Birth Place: Breslau, Poland
  • Date: 1832
  • Location: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: w19.13 x h16.61 in (Overall)
  • Provenance: The W. P. Wilstach Collection, bequest of Anna H. Wilstach, 1893
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: © 2014 Philadelphia Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
  • External Link: Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Artist/Maker: Karl Friedrich Lessing, German, 1808 - 1880

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