About this artwork

This is an unfinished picture, painted around 1858, and known since at least 1924 as 'The Serenade'. The subject is actually a strolling player singing in a garden restaurant. Daumier was fascinated by itinerant street performers and also drew and painted circus shows, carnivals and saltimbanques – a common sight at street corners in nineteenth-century Paris. This kind of subject prefigures Degas’s and Manet’s modern life images of cafés-concerts which were a feature of their work in the 1870s.

  • title:
    The Serenade
  • accession number:
    NG 2453
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Oil on panel
  • date created:
    About 1858
  • measurements:
    30.50 x 39.80 cm (framed: 51.50 x 59.50 x 7.00 cm)
  • credit line:
    Transferred from the Tate Gallery 1988
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Honoré Daumier

Honoré Daumier