L'Homme à la pipe

Marcellin Desboutin French
Sitter Marcellin Desboutin French

Not on view

Desboutin was broke when he arrived in Paris in 1872. He quickly turned to printmaking, specializing in portraits of his contemporaries, which earned him from one to two hundred francs each. This life-size self-portrait, unusually large and heavily worked, presents the artist as a bohemian, an image already established by Edouard Manet in a full-length portrait of 1875 (Museu de Arte de São Paulo). Here, rather than representing himself with the traditional tools of his trade, he holds a pipe as his only accessory. He gazes directly over his shoulder; his disheveled hair is barely contained under his cap. Recognized by many as Desboutin’s masterpiece, this print was awarded a third-class medal at the Salon of 1879 and a medal of honor at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle.

L'Homme à la pipe, Marcellin Desboutin (French, Cérilly 1823–1902 Nice), Etching, drypoint, and roulette

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