Constantin Guys

Download image: 
Constantin Guys
Women in a Carriage with Men on Horseback
19th century
Pen and brown ink, gray wash, and watercolor, over pencil, on paper.
8 x 13 1/2 inches (203 x 343 mm)
Bequest of John S. Thacher.

Two women riding in an open carriage greet a gentleman in a top hat on horseback, possibly in the Bois de Boulogne, a park on the outskirts of Paris where it was fashionable to go for drives.
The Bois de Boulogne was a large and popular park on the west side of Paris, created by Napoleon III. Since its opening in 1857, especially following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the park attracted carriages, walkers, picnickers, and eventually bicyclists. It played a prominent role in contemporary fiction set in Paris by authors such as Zola, Flaubert, and Proust and was the setting for paintings by a range of Impressionists. Guys, dubbed by Baudelaire as the “painter of modern life,” captured this activity in his many drawings of parties of men and women in carriages in the park.


Watermark: none visible through lining.

Unidentified collector (fragment of a blind stamp on verso; not in Lugt); Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London; John S. Thacher (1904-1982), Washington, D.C.
Associated names: 

Thacher, John S., former owner.


Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 346-347.

Artist page: