Pen and gray ink and watercolor and black chalk;
signed, lower right, in brown ink: C. Vernet
Carle Vernet, although an accomplished artist in many genres, was most renowned for his depictions of everyday and sporting life. He had a keen eye for human behaviour and delighted in capturing the stereotypes of his time and highlighting the humorous elements of national characteristics. Here a group of English tourists to France are observed with sarcasm. The temporary peace in 1814 allowed more English to travel across the Channel, and many French artists closely scrutinized their behaviour and their attire in satirical compositions and caricatures.
Vernet treated the subject of the English in Paris in another watercolor that was with Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox in 2003 and which was lent to an exhibition at the Tate.1
Sold with a print titled Oh! C'est bien ça. executed after Vernet's drawing. Another impression of the print is in the British Museum (inv. 2003,0531.30) and it is recorded in their inventory as being by Charles François Gabriel Levachez. The popularity of these satirical subjects and humorous compositions made them ideal subjects for prints, for which the demand was very high.
1. Constable to Delacroix, exhib. cat., London, Tate Britain, 2003, pp. 52-53, cat. 4, reproduced
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