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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Honoré-Victorin Daumier, French (Marseille, France 1808-1879 Valmondois, France)
The Butcher
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Le Boucher
Work Type
c. 1857
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Watercolor, black ink, graphite, and black crayon on cream wove paper, two sheets joined irregularly across center
33.5 x 24.2 cm (13 3/16 x 9 1/2 in.)
framed: 55.9 x 45.1 x 2.5 cm (22 x 17 3/4 x 1 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: black ink, l.l.: h. Daumier


Recorded Ownership History
Etienne Bignou, Paris; Reginald Davis, Paris; acquired through [Martin Birnbaum] by Grenville L. Winthrop, November 1927; his bequest to the Fogg Art Museum, 1943.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


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The drawing is formed by two sheets of paper very cleverly joined. The seam runs from the left edge just below the sides of the beef horizontally to the breast of the side of beef in the foreground. It then follows the line of the carcass around to the other side above the point where the pole disappears behind the haunch. It then proceeds horizontally over the butcher's head, vertically down behind his shoulder and horizontally to the right edge over the chopping block. The upper half has been added to the lower half sometime early in the execution of the drawing and thus it probably represents a substantial correction of an earlier conception to which the artist attached great importance, as he took such pains to conceal it and to unify the finished work. (undated Conservation note by Marjorie B. Cohn)

Publication History

  • Eduard Fuchs, Der Maler Daumier, E. Weyhe Gallery (New York, 1927), pg. 57, no. 239
  • Christian Zervos and Eduard Fuchs, "Révisions Honoré Daumier" and "Honoré Daumier", Cahiers d'Art, Editions Cahiers d'art (Paris, 1928), 3, nos. 5-6, facing p. 185
  • Bernard Lemann, "Two Daumier Drawings", Bulletin of the Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, November 1936), vol. VI, no. 1, pp. 14-15, repr. fig. 4
  • Jean Adhémar, Honoré Daumier: Drawings and Watercolors, MacMillan (New York, 1954), pl. 25
  • Karl E. Maison, Daumier Drawings, Thomas Yoseloff, Inc. (New York, 1960), p. 20, no. 43
  • Ira Moskowitz and Maurice Sérullaz, Drawings of the Masters: French Impressionists, Shorewood Publishers Inc. (New York, NY, 1962), pl. 45
  • Agnes Mongan, Great Drawings of All Time, ed. Ira Moskowitz and Victoria Thorson, Shorewood Publishers Inc. (New York, 1962), cat. no. 755, n.p., repr.
  • Alan Bowness, ed., Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, F. Watts (New York, NY, 1965), repro. pg. 45
  • Howard Paton Vincent, Daumier and His World, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL, 1968), pg. 93, pl. 29
  • Karl E. Maison, Honoré Daumier: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings, New York Graphic Society, Ltd (New York, NY, 1968), vol 2, no. 264, pl. 63
  • Jeanne L. Wasserman, Daumier Sculpture: A Critical and Comparative Study, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1969), p. 256, as fig. IVb.
  • Dorothy W. Gillerman, ed., Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1969), cat. no. 107, repr.
  • Claude Roy, Daumier, Skira (Geneva, 1971), pg. 63
  • Shinpei Kusano, Yoshio Abe, and Shuji Takashina, Kurube to shajitsu shugi/Courbet et le réalisme, Chūō Kōron Bijutsu Shuppan (Tokyo, 1972), pl. 1
  • Marjorie B. Cohn, Wash and Gouache: A Study of the Development of the Materials of Watercolor, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1977), pp. 28, 47, cat. no. 15 p. 95
  • Sarah Symmons, Daumier, Oresko Books Ltd. (London, England, 1979), pp. 86-87, repr. p. 87, pl. 67
  • Christopher Finch, Nineteenth-Century Watercolors, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1991), pp. 154-55, fig. 202
  • Bruce Laughton, The Drawings of Daumier and Millet, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven, CT, 1991), pg. 109, fig. 7.21
  • Bruce Laughton, Honoré Daumier, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1996), p. 41 and p. 178 n. 25
  • Judith Wechsler, Daumier, Flammarion (Paris, France, 1999), p. 48, repr. (color)
  • Vincent Pomarède, "La Collection Winthrop: A la recherche de la beauté pure", L'Estampille/L'Objet d'art (April 2003), no. 379, pp. 34-45, p. 44
  • Stephan Wolohojian, ed., A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, 2003), cat. no. 14, repr. (color), p. 25
  • Stephan Wolohojian, Ingres, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Renoir... La Collection Grenville L. Winthrop, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 2003), no. 14, repr.

Exhibition History

  • French Romanticism of the Eighteen Thirties, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/16/1943 - 02/12/1943
  • Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/23/1969 - 03/31/1969
  • Wash and Gouache: A Study of the Development of the Materials of Watercolor, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/12/1977 - 06/22/1977
  • A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon, 03/15/2003 - 05/26/2003; National Gallery, London, 06/25/2003 - 09/14/2003; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 10/23/2003 - 01/25/2004
  • 32Q: 2200 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/14/2016 - 01/06/2017

Related Works

Verification Level

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