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: Honoré DaumierFrench (1808 - 1879)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • 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