Artist Painting

Jean-François Raffaëlli, French, 1850 - 1924

Made in France, Europe

c. 1879

Oil on panel

20 1/2 x 20 7/8 inches (52.1 x 53 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
Cat. 1065

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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poverty [x]   realism [x]  

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With his back to the viewer, a coarse-looking artist puts the finishing touches to an already framed painting. This picture-within-the-picture shows a vagabond or ragpicker sitting beside his bundle in a suburban field with factories in the background. While the image of the painter may be a self-portrait, Raffaëlli probably also identified with the ragpicker. Like this figure, he lived in an industrial suburb of Paris and struggled to earn a living.