Paul Flandrin

Download image: 
Paul Flandrin
Caricature of a Group of Figures
Pen and brown ink on paper.
8 7/8 x 12 1/16 inches (214 x 306 mm)
Purchased on the Charles Ryskamp Fund.

A pupil of Ingres like his older brothers Hippolyte and Auguste, Paul never won the prix de Rome. Still, in 1834 he traveled to Italy independently to join Hippolyte, who had won the prize the previous year. Focusing on the landscape, Paul developed his skills traveling through Italy and, upon his return to France in 1839, made his debut at the Paris Salon with a pair of landscapes. He continued to work alongside his brother Hippolyte on decorative commissions and to pursue landscape painting which brought him success in the middle decades of the century. However, his career never recovered after he fled Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
Among Paul Flandrin's extant drawings are humorous sheets loosely drawn in pen and ink, likely made to amuse his brothers, friends, and colleagues. A small group of these caricatures, many of which were dated between 1857 and 1859, emerged with the dealer Eric Carlson in the 1990s, and a further batch of twenty satiric sheets were sold with his estate in 2019. The present sheet is from May 1858, while the artist was in France producing landscape paintings and on the cusp of critical success.
A man in a top hat and walking stick encounters a group of women and children outdoors on a sunny day. A child in a fez pulls an animal toy on wheels, while a lean woman knits a sock and a child in a ballooned dress with a large cap stares blankly at us. The sun seems to find the scene amusing, but the nature of the joke is not entirely clear.


Signed and dated in pen and brown ink, at lower left, "Paul Flandrin. 11 mai. 58".
Watermark: none visible through lining.

Eric G. Carlson (1940-2016), New York.
Associated names: 

Carlson, Eric G., 1940-2016, former owner.

Artist page: