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The Third-class CarriageEnlarge image

The Third-class Carriage, c. 1863-1865

Honoré Daumier
French, 1808 - 1879
oil on canvas
65.4 x 90.2 cm
Purchased 1946
National Gallery of Canada (no. 4633)

Daumier produced lithographs about the hardships and inconveniences of rail travel as early as 1843. The National Gallery of Canada painting closely follows a watercolour version commissioned in 1864 by the American railway magnate William Walters. Like Jean-François Millet's peasant farmers of Barbizon, the humble circumstances of the family in the foreground are portrayed with a noble simplicity, and the look of stoic resignation and fatigue etched on the face of the old woman evokes profound sympathy.

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