Everett Shinn (American, Woodstown, New Jersey 1876–1953 New York)
Oil on canvas
10 x 12 in. (25.4 x 30.5 cm)
George A. Hearn Fund, 1921
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
A stock figure in the popular theater of London, which Shinn visited during a trip abroad in 1900, the lion comique was a caricature of a well-dressed dandy, typically equipped with a walking cane or an umbrella. The lion comique bantered with the audience and sang songs that mocked the posturing of the upper classes. Borrowing a compositional device from Edgar Degas, Shinn depicted this scene at an oblique angle, showing both the orchestra pit and the stage. The lion comique, his face illuminated by the glowing footlights, appears at the edge of the proscenium, bowing or interacting with the musicians in the pit.