Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) The Drinkers, c. 1860
Watercolor, pen and ink, and charcoal on cream laid paper
9 7/16 x 10 1/2 in. (23.9 x 26.7 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1504
In this depiction of laborers in blue work aprons or overalls, Daumier treats the subject of drink-inspired song. The two men at center belt out a tune to the apparent amusement, or embarrassment, of their companion at left. At right, a fourth man devotes full attention to his beverage.
Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) Three Lawyers Conversing, c. 1862–65
Watercolor, pen and ink, charcoal, chalk, and gouache on cream wove paper
12 15/16 x 9 3/4 in. (32.9 x 24.8 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1499
Lawyers appear frequently in Daumier’s satires. Having been jailed for his political caricatures, the artist had ample opportunity to see lawyers at work. This trio’s upturned noses suggest an undeserved attitude of authority, and their theatrical poses and symmetrical arrangement underscore the artificiality of their conduct.
François Bonvin (1817–1887) Servant Knitting, 1861
Charcoal and black chalk with stumping and erasing on beige laid paper 15 11/16 x 12 5/16 in. (39.8 x 31.3 cm) Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 2012.12
A woman in a humble interior concentrates on her knitting. Bonvin’s precise handling of chalk and charcoal captures the play of light and shadow on her face and pristine white apron. Emulating seventeenth-century Dutch genre paintings, Bonvin produced many such scenes of daily life to great acclaim.
Charles-François Daubigny (1817–1878) Cows at a Watering Hole, c. 1863
Red chalk with stumping on cream wove paper
11 1/8 x 17 7/16 in. (28.3 x 44.3 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1991.2
Daubigny belonged to a group of artists who embraced the local environment as their primary subject. Here he explores the reflective surface of still water in the warm light of a rising or setting sun.
Jean-François Millet (1814–1875) The Sower, c. 1865
Pastel and Conté crayon on beige wove paper, mounted on wood-pulp board 18 1/2 x 14 ¾ in (47 x 37.5 cm) Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hirschl, 1982.8
Silhouetted against the vast, empty landscape, the heroic laborer strides purposefully as he distributes seeds. Tinges of blue and rose in the clouds are repeated in the peasant’s clothing, uniting sky and land through the figure.
Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) Alms from a Beggar at Ornans, 1868
Graphite with stumping, squared, with touches of crayon on cream wove paper
11 5/16 x 8 11/16 in. (28.7 x 22.1 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1846
A beggar becomes an almsgiver in this social critique that Courbet produced for publication after his controversial painting of the same subject. The impoverished man, who appears to have come from the city in the distance, takes pity on a gypsy family, suggesting that theirs is a world in which only the poor give to the poor.
Édouard Manet (1832–1883) Boy with a Dog, from the portfolio Eight Etchings by Manet, 1862
Etching and aquatint on cream laid paper Sheet: 14 1/16 x 10 3/8 in. (35.7 x 26.3 cm) Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.79
One of eight sheets that formed part of Manet’s first portfolio of prints, this work is based on a drawing probably made from life several years earlier. The subject is the artist’s young assistant and occasional model Alexandre, who committed suicide in his studio in 1859. He is recalled here in a moment of happiness with a dog nearly his size.
Édouard Manet (1832–1883) The Toilette, from the portfolio Eight Etchings by Manet, 1862
Etching printed in brown-black on cream laid paper Sheet: 20 9/16 x 13 7/8 in. (52.2 x 35.3 cm) Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.80
This bather draws inspiration from works by Rembrandt and Watteau. By leaving much of the area of the bather’s body lightly worked within an overall dark atmosphere created by a network of vigorously drawn lines, Manet conveys a sense of the woman’s sudden physical exposure.
Édouard Manet (1832–1883) The Urchin, 1862
Lithograph on cream chine collé on white wove paper
Sheet: 20 1/16 x 14 15/16 in. (51 x 37.9 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.81
This lithograph is a reinterpretation of one of the artist’s canvases, which he based on paintings by Murillo and Velázquez known through reproductive prints. Manet’s image of a street-smart gamin attests to the artist’s immersion in Spanish art, as well as the productive exchange between painting and prints that informed his work in both media.
Édouard Manet (1832–1883) Exotic Flower (Woman in a Mantilla), 1868 Etching and aquatint printed in brown and black on cream laid paper Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 9/16 in. (36.2 x 24.3 cm) Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1986.18
Manet produced this Goyaesque figure for inclusion in an 1869 publication of etchings and poems. It appeared side by side with a sonnet by the contemporary poet Armand Renaud about a woman’s intoxicating beauty.
Édouard Manet (1832–1883) Execution of Maximilian, 1868, printed 1884
Lithograph on white chine collé on white wove paper
Sheet: 20 ¼ x 26 5/8 in. (51.4 x 67.7)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Acquired in memory of Rafael Fernandez (Curator of Prints and Drawings, 1975–1994), with contributions from his friends, colleagues, and students, 2000.4
In 1867, Napoleon III of France appointed Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian emperor of Mexico, which was then under French occupation. Realizing the impossibility of ruling through Maximilian, Napoleon gradually withdrew military support, leaving Maximilian unprotected. On June 19, 1867, Maximilian and two of his generals were executed by Mexican nationalists, an event that sparked a storm of controversy in France. Manet dedicated multiple canvases, as well as this lithograph, to the incident. The print was intended for wide circulation but banned from publications by the French government until after the artist’s death.
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824–1898) Study of a Woman’s Head, c. 1865
Graphite with stumping on beige wove paper
6 7/8 x 5 5/16 in. (17.4 x 13.5 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1716
The idealized, chiseled features of the head in this study bring to mind classical sculpture, which Puvis de Chavannes emulated in much of his work. By stumping — rubbing the graphite into the grainy paper with a small roll of leather — he achieves a smooth, stone-like finish, particularly in the hair.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905) Study of Venus for “Apollo and the Muses in Olympus,” c. 1867
Graphite with touches of white chalk on beige wove paper
18 7/16 x 12 in. (46.8 x 30.5 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1578
This study for one of the figures in the ceiling of the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux embodies the academic principles of proportion and finish to which Bouguereau fully subscribed. The figure of Venus accords precisely with the classical ratio of a body exactly seven times the length of its head.
Edgar Degas (1834–1917) Study for “Dead Fox in the Forest,” c. 1861–64
Black and red chalks on cream wove paper 8 1/16 x 10 15/16 in. (20.4 x 27.7 cm) Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1396
In this delicate sheet from early in Degas’s career, the artist observes a dead fox’s limp body. Long and short directional strokes coalesce into a convincing representation of the coarse fur of the animal’s coat while a combination of looser marks with the white of the paper suggests the softer underbelly. The red stamp bearing Degas’s name at lower left was applied to this sheet — and to the many others that remained in the artist’s studio until his death — on the occasion of his estate sales of 1918 and 1919.
Edgar Degas (1834–1917) Study for “Madame Julie Burtey,” c. 1867
Black and dark-brown graphite on blued white wove paper
12 1/16 x 8 1/2 in. (30.6 x 21.6 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1406
Along with some notebook sketches and a nearly full-length seated study, this work led to an oil painting (unfinished) now in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The inscription “Mme Jules Bertin,” one of the many names under which the subject has been known, was added by a later hand.
Edgar Degas (1834–1917) At the Races, c. 1860–62
Graphite and black chalk with stumping on beige-pink paper, pieced together
13 11/16 x 18 7/8 in. (34.7 x 48 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1401
In this early study, jockeys slowly ride their horses to the start of a race. Degas works out the complex overlapping of figures and the positioning of five sets of horses’ legs. Rethinking the placement of one, he enlarged his sheet with additional strips of paper and drew, in greater detail, a single leg below the main group.
Edgar Degas (1834–1917) Study for “Scene from the Steeplechase: The Fallen Jockey,” 1866
Black and dark-brown chalks with stumping on blued white wove paper
9 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. (23.2 x 35.9 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1397
Degas made this drawing in preparation for a painting now in the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), in which a jockey falls from his horse during a steeplechase — a challenging event requiring horse and rider to leap over various obstacles. The horse’s tail and the stirrup swing backward as the animal flies through the air.
Claude Monet (1840–1926) The Port at Touques, c. 1864
Black chalk on blued white laid paper
8 1/4 x 13 in. (21 x 33 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 2006.5
In this early work, Monet sketched this close-up view of a fishing village in Normandy in bright daylight.