Singing Guitarist (recto)

Singing Guitarist (recto)

1855-60

Part of a set. See all set records

Honoré Daumier

(French, 1808-1879)

Pen and black ink over charcoal

Support: Cream(3) wove paper, discolored to yellow-cream except for the margin

Sheet: 33.9 x 21.5 cm (13 3/8 x 8 7/16 in.)

The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 1991.59.a

Description

The first six-string guitars appeared simultaneously in Naples and Paris in the 1770s, and by the end of the 19th century the so-called Romantic guitar played a central role in the popular music of the French capital. Daumier’s drawing reflects this interest in street singers and carnival performers. The agitated, almost frenetic tangle of fine lines drawn in pen and ink imbues the figure with life, so that his voice and instrument seem to vibrate with emotion.

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