The Tragic Actor: Rouvière in the Role of Hamlet

Edouard Manet French
Sitter Philibert Rouvière French
Subject William Shakespeare British

Not on view

Manet here presents the celebrated French tragedian Philibert Rouvière as Hamlet, feathered hat in hand and sword at his feet, confronting the viewer against a shadowed background of scribbled lines. His distant, mournful expression, suitable for Shakespeare's tragic hero, may also convey the artist's feelings at the actor's recent death. Manet derived the powerful composition from his related oil painting (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), a work that recalls Velasquez's portrait of the seventeenth-century actor Pablo de Valladolid (Museo del Prado, Madrid).

The Tragic Actor: Rouvière in the Role of Hamlet, Edouard Manet (French, Paris 1832–1883 Paris), Etching on blue laid paper, final state (II)

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.